The Prepper Journal http://www.theprepperjournal.com Prepping, Survival and Common Sense Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:09:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 And That’s Why I’m a Prepperhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/16/thats-why-im-a-prepper/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/16/thats-why-im-a-prepper/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:09:26 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11227 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have been a prepper for several years now and have been on both sides of probably every argument out there in some form or another at one point in my life. I don’t have the same perspective on life that I used to when I was 22. I would imagine that not many of […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have been a prepper for several years now and have been on both sides of probably every argument out there in some form or another at one point in my life. I don’t have the same perspective on life that I used to when I was 22. I would imagine that not many of us do still think the same way when we are in the midst of raising a family and can look back on our 20’s from a couple dozen birthdays. The music that rolled out of the radio when I graduated high school is now considered classic or vintage or my favorite, retro. When I was younger my outlook on life was almost the polar opposite from what I think now and I like to believe that I have grown up a lot. Maturity can make a big difference in a person, but I guess experiences, character and who you surround yourself with all factor in their own heavily weighted portion of influence as to who you end up becoming.

I won’t go into everything I believed as a young man in my early (young and dumb) twenties but let’s just say I leaned a lot more to the left back then mainly I think that was because I only cared about myself. Then I met my wife and had some of those life experiences I mentioned (kids, several career changes, someone to worry about besides my sorry self) and my perspective changed almost completely with time. After several years of being the complete opposite of my younger self in terms of social and political outlook, checking a new box at the polls and more life experiences I have settled into what I believe is my true skin for lack of a better phrase. The closest you could now classify my outlook on life politically speaking anyway is Libertarian. That’s a pretty big turn from someone who voted for Clinton, twice.

But this article isn’t about politics, it’s about why I’m a Prepper and that introduction was really all to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had the brain, maturity and perspective I had in my twenties. If I hadn’t gone through the experiences that impacted my life and met the woman who completely changed everything I could be an entirely different person.

Fast forward from my relatively worry free twenties to the responsibilities of a father and husband. Around 2008 I started to think that something wasn’t really right. I have discussed this before, but it was a gut feeling that I needed to take extra steps to make sure my family would be protected. Protected from what? It was my perspective on life and what I was seeing that was stirring a sense of urgency to learn more about what other aspects of life there were that perhaps I wasn’t aware of. It was the urgency to protect my family that led me to research a wide variety of subjects which eventually led me to prepping even before it was a cool term on National Geographic.

The concepts of prepping made so much sense to me because I had people that I cared for and I didn’t want to see any harm come to them. It was logical to want to protect them from hunger, lack of water or intruders. I could easily see both the usefulness of prepping supplies to help my family out while at the same time looking much more broadly at our society with a new understanding about how things are run and presented to us. It was around this time that I started to research for myself the things I was being told and asked to accept without question.

These clowns wouldn’t last a month

Everyone comes to this subject of prepping from different paths but I would expect that anyone who has even lifted the covers ever so slightly on the wide open world that falls under the blanket of the word “prepper” has heard detractors. It doesn’t matter what you are prepping for there will be people who emphatically argue that you are crazy to prepare. These same people get downright belligerent that anyone would be so stupid as to think about their own survival or self-sufficiency. All you have to do is go on any YouTube video that has anything remotely resembling prepping and there will be lots of comments to the effect of “These clowns won’t last a month” or “you people are all idiots for believing anything bad is going to happen”. I am not surprised at this response but I can’t really understand it.

Preppers that I know almost universally are simply trying to make sure they are prepared if something happens. It is this process of preparation that they are undergoing to in some way make their lives better in their opinion if a crisis happens. All of these people who mock preppers are saying that the preppers are foolish for preparing or that they will die regardless of their preps so either way they are idiots.

These nut jobs should not be encouraged.

There are still others who view shows like Doomsday Preppers and Prepper Conventions all over the US as somehow encouraging bad behavior. As if watching people on TV is going to make someone a nut job. These nut jobs are just trying to protect themselves or their family. What about all the other TV shows? Do they encourage the nut jobs too? What about Reality TV shows that have people running around naked? Do they encourage the exhibitionist? What about Sports programs that feature athletes who abuse their family? Do those encourage the wife beaters? What about movies that encourage all manner of evil things? Do those encourage terrorists?

Besides the obvious aspect that preppers and their detractors are looking at the world with a different perspective, I think that there is one key difference between preppers and the people who think we are crazy. Preppers for the most part seem to be preparing for an unknown future. They take steps to stock up on food and water should they need it. Preppers learn skills and purchase weapons to defend their families if a situation arises where their lives are in jeopardy. Preppers don’t know what is coming, but they prepare for the chance that something will. Why? Because tragedy has happened many times before.

The people who call preppers “nut jobs” seem to know everything. I say this because they can easily spout off how nothing bad will ever happen, or how the US is “the richest frickin country in the world” and that we will never see anything like chaos here. EVER! Or if anything does happen it will be “nuclear war that will wipe everyone out anyway”. The detractors know everything and the preppers know nothing in their eyes. It reminds me a lot of how I was when I was much younger. Not that everyone who thinks prepping is wrong is a young whippersnapper, but their opinions and attitudes match mine at a much younger age.

At the start of this season of Doomsday Preppers each person would tell a story about what motivated them to start. At the end of each testimonial, the camera would zoom in and each person would say, “and that’s why I’m a prepper”. I started prepping because to me it is simple common sense and I have people that depend on me. It’s common sense because I have been to the grocery store when it was closed and I needed something. I have run out of gas on the side of the road. I have been lost without a cell phone and I have experienced needing something I could have easily acquired ahead of time. I have seen winter storms block roads for days. I have also seen so many times where things don’t end up all right. I have seen riots, looting, famine, ethnic cleansing, civil wars, hurricanes, depression, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, economic collapse, virus outbreaks and all forms of evil perpetrated by one man against another. If that alone wasn’t enough we have seen Ebola flown into our country, illegals bussed all over our nation, mysterious illnesses, an economy that is on the edge and the drumbeat of wars (again) in yet another middle east country. That “gut feeling” I had in 2008 hasn’t gone away, it has only gotten harder to ignore.

I have a responsibility to protect my family and I have taken a lot of steps over the years toward that goal. These steps would probably make a lot of people out there call me a wacko but I’m OK with that. I have said before that I would rather reach the end of my days as a very old Great Grandfather with all of my family surrounding me talking about how crazy I was than to have a single person who calls me crazy now admit that I was right all along as we stare at disaster.

Prepping isn’t crazy, but believing you know everything and that nothing will ever go wrong might be. I’m going to stick with my approach and we’ll meet up later and see who was right. Good luck to you.

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Simple Gas Storage Rotation Planhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/15/simple-gas-storage-rotation-plan/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/15/simple-gas-storage-rotation-plan/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:31:47 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11209 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Most people would agree that it is good to have some spare fuel stored for the off chance that you might need it in an emergency. Extra fuel can be used to power generators and refill your car. Your extra fuel for your vehicle might be needed to keep your car running to power an […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Most people would agree that it is good to have some spare fuel stored for the off chance that you might need it in an emergency. Extra fuel can be used to power generators and refill your car. Your extra fuel for your vehicle might be needed to keep your car running to power an inverter charging system. It could also be used to get you out of dodge if some event required you to bug out to a safer location. Fuel as we have seen most recently with the shortages after Hurricane Sandy is one prepper supply that you don’t want to be without.

But storing fuel just like storing food requires some efforts to keep the fuel fresh. As fuel ages it loses some of its combustion ability. Actually it isn’t age so much as it is evaporation in most cases so we are told to add agents like Sta-bil to our fuel to keep it in prime condition if you are facing the prospect of long term fuel storage. Well sealed containers also contribute a good deal to keeping your fuel fresh. I have personally stored fuel for over a year without any stabilizer and it works just fine for me, but if it hadn’t I would have been able to drive to the store and purchase additional fuel. What if the stores aren’t selling fuel anymore? What if you have no money to purchase any other fuel?

I recommend keeping a supply on hand just for emergencies like power outages caused by winter storms and even grid-down catastrophes. Having your own supply of fuel will give you an advantage over others who are stuck in line waiting to fill their gas cans up. How much do you need to store? It depends on what you are using it for, but I would say 20 gallons is a minimum. That should give you a whole tank of gas. Will this get you where you need to go? Maybe not, but it will get you a lot closer and it helps to have additional fuel in any disruption event. If you don’t use it, you could help someone else out.

Storing fuel is pretty simple. You could just buy several 5 gallon fuel containers, fill them up add Sta-bil and forget about it for a while at least. You do run the risk of something happening that you aren’t aware of and it would be pretty horrible to think you had plenty of fuel only to find out it was sludge that couldn’t even work in your generator so I wanted to share a really simple gas storage rotation plan with you that is easy to maintain and makes sure you always have fuel that is no older than 6 months. Just like you want to rotate your food storage, it is a good idea to rotate your gas storage too.

 

GasStorage2

To start you need something to store your fuel in. I purchased several of the newer model fuel containers from Walmart. Each holds 5 gallons so with 6 containers I have 30 gallons of fuel stored in my shed whenever I need it. I didn’t want to have to tote all of these to the gas station every 6 months or so when I wanted to freshen up my supply so I numbered each container 1-6. You could do the same thing with 12 containers and that would correspond to each month of the year. I didn’t have that much storage space so I only used 6.

GasStorage3

The way this works is at the end of every month, I wait until my tank is about half full and then I empty one of the gas cans into my car’s tank. Because these are the newer model of gas can they have a very ridiculous nozzle on them that is suppose to prevent any fuel from spilling (thank you EPA!) while you are pouring. This doesn’t prevent any spillage and it makes pouring a nightmare. To get around this hassle you can purchase something like the EZ Pour replacement kit and follow the instructions in the video below or just do what I did. I bought a nice funnel and I just take the whole nozzle off the gas can and pour away. There still isn’t a vent but it works fine and makes filling up the car much easier.

GasStorage4

I also have a can reserved for the lawn mower or any yard machines and I top this off at the same time. When I am done I have an empty gas can that I will then go and fill up when I top off my tank. Every month I have a fresh 5 gallon container of fuel and the numbers help me keep track of what month I am on. At the end of 6 months, my entire supply has been rotated and I just start all over. With this system I make sure I never have fuel that is too stale.

How do you rotate your fuel storage?

 

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The Mess of Successhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/12/mess-success/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/12/mess-success/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 19:08:40 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11198 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

National Geographic has a show called Life Below Zero that I have seen probably a dozen or so times and it follows a lot of different individuals living in various remote locations in Alaska. The show appeals to me because I think Alaska is gorgeous and I would love to visit sometime, but the stories […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

National Geographic has a show called Life Below Zero that I have seen probably a dozen or so times and it follows a lot of different individuals living in various remote locations in Alaska. The show appeals to me because I think Alaska is gorgeous and I would love to visit sometime, but the stories of these people are so much more intriguing to me than just about any episode of Doomsday Preppers.

WHAT!??!?! Yes, that’s right. As much as I do enjoy watching Doomsday Preppers, I think that the people and situations portrayed on Life Below Zero are much more representative of how life could be for us in the lower 48 if the grid really went down. That is after 90% of the population dies as some people predict. The characters on Life Below Zero all live in extremely remote conditions without many of the conveniences of modern life that you and I have. One man Glenn, lives in a small cabin all by himself for half the year. If that isn’t enough I think his cabin is 60 miles from the nearest road and he walks there and back twice each year. Can you imagine living all by yourself for months and having to walk 60 miles to get to your small cabin? We complain about running out of toilet paper.

There is another woman named Sue who runs an airstrip all by herself 500 miles away from any city. Sue is the most crotchety woman I have seen and she is probably my favorite. She reminds me of an old biker woman that befriended me when I worked at Walmart a lifetime ago on the night shift unloading trucks named Donna. Donna, like Sue was tough as sandpaper on the exterior but she had a heart of gold. Sue is so remote that when her back when out she had to radio for medicine. The only way to reach Sue’s airstrip is via plane and the weather was so bad the plane couldn’t even land. The pilot had to fly by and drop it out of the window to her. Bad back and all she hobbled out to the frozen airstrip to pick up her package of medicine and made her way back inside. A lot of us preppers are worried we will miss TV if the grid goes down. People like Sue and Glenn have to worry about dying alone or slipping and falling when nobody for 500 miles is around to help you. That is living a SHTF kinda lifestyle for real. As one of my old employers used to say, ‘one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel’.

I like this show because of its perspective. Watching these people who, with the exception of Glenn still have some of the modern conveniences we have like gasoline, snowmobiles, forklifts and boats etc. make their way in a wilderness that most of us couldn’t even imagine. They are the closest thing I have seen to what I visualize in my mind as living off the grid albeit remotely. It isn’t like they are all surviving off the land by eating berries, but their lifestyles are so much harsher than I could imagine. Watching them makes me think of how I would be able to fare with the same conditions.

There is another couple of people on the show, Chip and Agnes Hailstone. Agnes is a native Inupiaq and together with Chip they have 7 children. Chip and Agnes don’t have it easy either although they do live in a small town. Everything I see them do is geared toward their survival. Agnes isn’t on Facebook updating her friends with her latest hairdo or sending selfies of her bottom half in spandex after a great thigh workout in the gym. Agnes is out shooting gophers from a boat with iron sites. Agnes is pulling in fish from nets, carving up a moose or shooting seal. Agnes is one tough woman.

Chip and Agnes Hailstone

Chip and Agnes Hailstone

In one of the episodes, and I am going from memory here, I believe they had gone to their fishing cabin up river for their annual fishing trip. It is this one time each year that they must catch the food they are going to eat for the rest of the winter so the entire family is involved. The episode showed her and her children all working to catch and clean and dry fish. In one she was making a vest out of a seal pelt as for a gift for her father and almost every episode she has some animal on the floor cleaning and butchering it. It was at the end of one of these episodes as she looked with pride on the achievements of her family while the same time looking at the mess said, “The mess of success”. It struck me that if we have the grid down, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI event we are thinking is possible, that our success will be measured by the same barometer. We won’t have fancy Lexus’s sitting in the driveway with a big red bow on it Christmas morning . (Where in the world do they get those bows anyway?) We won’t be coming home with raises or bonuses. You won’t be selling the Johnson house or getting a big commission. Our kids won’t be in traveling sports leagues.

Our success will be messy I think. We will be successful if we get our hands dirty. We will be successful if we have a hundred stinking fish drying from racks in our yard, fish guts in our hair and dirt under your nails that will never come out. Life, even life above zero will still be hard and it might require everyone to realign our version of what success is. The successful man might smell like crap because he is raising hogs that feed his family. The successful woman might be covered in dirt because she has been in the garden or smell like smoke because she is cooking over a fire. Any way you look at it, I think life will be a mess.

Some of us and maybe I am even guilty of this too look at the possibility of some SHTF event as on one hand horrible, but we just think we will be at home everyday. Instead of going to work, we will just sit at home all day because the grid is gone. Nothing to do, so I will just work on my tan. I think if the grid is gone our civilization will be rocked to the core and we will be looking at ‘survival’ in a whole new way.  You won’t be able to get up and go run in the morning while you listen to your iPhone 6. You won’t be hitting the drive through for a big cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. You won’t be sending photos of your hairdo to all your friends.

We might not be 500 miles from the nearest neighbor but our lives will be just as hard and death could come just as easy as someone in the remote wilderness. Are you prepared to get your hands messy?

 

 

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The Risk of Government Dependency When Disaster Strikeshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/11/risk-government-dependency-disaster-strikes/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/11/risk-government-dependency-disaster-strikes/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:00:50 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11183 Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald. As Preppers, when we speak about the role of government in American society we normally refer to violations of the Tenth Amendment or over-regulation by local entities. In fact, most of what we talk about is what government isn’t supposed to be […]

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Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald.

As Preppers, when we speak about the role of government in American society we normally refer to violations of the Tenth Amendment or over-regulation by local entities. In fact, most of what we talk about is what government isn’t supposed to be doing but is doing anyway. When the founding fathers chose to leave the day-to-day responsibility of living in the hands of the people themselves and their elected, local representatives they laid the foundation for the single most fundamental tenet of American self-governance: the responsibility of individuals to care for themselves. Preppers value this common sense tradition as inviolate, but as time has marched on and technological advances have made our lives easier and quite different from the 18th century, the debate has raged over how or if the role of government is supposed to adapt. More and more we see citizens advocating, if not demanding, the collective surrendering of rights in the name of safety.

In 1965, British PM Iain Macleod popularized the term “Nanny State” which conveys the idea government interferes with personal freedoms much like the modern “helicopter parent” hovers over a child so as to be involved in every minute aspect of their lives to detrimental effect. The term caught on in the States in the early 2000’s and is exemplified in policies such as banning smoking in public, open-air places, legislating the sale-able volume of soda pop, and mandatory helmet laws. As individuals we may agree or disagree with the wisdom of such choices if made on a personal level and we may debate if these are acceptable policies at the local level. That said, the power struggle between self-governance vs government-knows-best has reached a point where some people don’t only want government to protect other people from themselves against their will, but for government to protect us from every conceivable boogey man.

Dependence breeds complacency

As I’ve written before, I’m a 911 dispatcher. I deal with mundane things like people asking what time the July 24th fireworks celebration will start (it’s a Utah thing) to the extreme like drowning toddlers and people falling 1,488 feet from Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. We handle all sorts of stuff and I’ll readily admit not much phases me anymore. My experience provides an interesting perspective when people call in for assistance in that I am calmly removed from the problem. I am simply a facilitator between the caller and help and over the years I have recognized a persistent theme in non-emergency calls: “government help me”. To clarify, I am not talking about people who are having medical emergencies, or are victims of real crime, or otherwise have legitimate need of the services that their tax dollars pay for. My heart goes out to these people and I pray that their tragedies and problems are satisfactorily resolved as best can be.

When I say “government help me”, I refer to callers who for whatever reasons have failed to or refuse to attempt to remedy problems themselves. These people call the police on loud neighbors (in college housing, on Saturday night, at 7 pm), because a car has been parked on their street for 48.00012 hours, because a homeless looking person is in the neighborhood, because a person with brown skin is in the neighborhood, because children are making noise swimming in the pool at noon during the summer, because they were driving slowly and someone passed them and flipped them off, because a neighbor is mowing his lawn on the Sabbath … you get the point. The callers never fail to voluntarily give reasons why they call the police either: they’re afraid of retaliation, “you know how those people are”, “I’m ___ religion and I just don’t think they should be doing that”, “I want my conscience to be clear”, “this is a gated community”, and my personal favorite, “My Bishop told me to call” (personal responsibility waived!)

Could these reasons be legitimate? Absolutely. I can see why little old white grandma who hasn’t seen anyone of a different race until the last 5-10 years is afraid of four muscular Hispanic males in tats sitting on the front stoop smoking and joking with the radio turned up. I can see how someone who has talked to a loud neighbor once or twice and isn’t getting anywhere needs police to handle the nuisance. I get that there are reasons to call the police when I wouldn’t – I’m a 6’4” former Marine and don’t take crap from anyone; but I also have lived amongst many different races and creeds in this country and know how to approach people kindly and have conversations with them to find out where they’re coming from before I ask them to change. The people who have relied on political and religious forces to maintain their bubble have become complacent in their own community safety and management. Rather than get to know their neighbors, or even simply be brave and handle their own business as a matter of pride, they rely on government legislation and police action to save them from every problem, real or imagined, that they have.

Complacency + Mother Nature = Amplified Disaster

Utah-Flooding-1

In southern Utah we have a yearly phenomenon called “Monsoon Season”. Every July-September (and in the winter too with snow melt) the summer rains come, sometimes once every couple weeks, sometimes many days in a row. We never fail to get that one storm which inundates the desert to cause massive flash flooding. The local rivers crest, the storm drains get blocked up, and we flood like Noah. In 2005 the Santa Clara river swept away 20 homes and caused another 20 to be condemned. The last couple years have seen “100 year events” damage numerous homes and infrastructure. Do a Google search for “St. George, UT flooding” or check out our online papers called “The Spectrum” or “St George News”. You’ll not only witness the yearly fury of Mother Nature we endure (like two weeks ago), you’ll see the same problems in the same areas over and over again.

We can’t stop a river from overflowing its banks, but we can not build in flood plain. We can’t make the rain soak into the dry ground, but we can ensure our storm drains are clear. We can’t stop the waters from rising when drains are overwhelmed, but we can prepare our own sandbags and form community relief teams ahead of time. Some of these responsibilities lie with local government because they’re the entity with legal authority to make engineering changes and finances from taxes to do it. Other preventative measures lie solely on the shoulders of the citizenry. As you read horror stories from our local news you may come across people who say they’ve suffered the same fate a couple years in a row. How is that possible? I know there is a movement to sue one of the local municipalities for failure to adequately maintain and prepare flood control in a section of the town which gets hit quite hard each year, but why haven’t these home owners begun to handle this problem on their own? My thought is that they could be complacent.

Complacency Kills

If we solve the problem in our minds by reasoning that government is responsible, we absolve ourselves of any culpability for our situation. We have “cleared our conscience” as some callers tell me and are free to go on our merry way without worrying about the dangers lurking in the shadows because “government will help me”. During our last round of storms it was so bad we had to triage responses from the fire departments to only help people whose homes were actually in the process of flooding. People were calling 911 frantic their basements were filling up while others called equally as frantic about water several blocks away and gosh darnit, they needed sand bags for their house on the hill so their sod didn’t get too wet. The citizens knew this happens every year, but very few actively prepared for what was going to come.

Why didn’t anyone call for sandbags hours before when the National Weather Service announced flash flood warnings? Why were people even calling the government for sandbags!? (I accept this is a better use of tax dollars than some others). Why wouldn’t responsible homeowners have their own stockpile of sand bags and the means to fill them? Just the other day I-15 near Moapa, NV washed out, completely shutting down the interstate between Utah and Las Vegas (Google the video of the man in the minivan getting swept over a drop off). The normal 1.5 hour trip is rerouted on county roads and state highways and now takes about 4 + hours. We’re talking regional affect here because of one storm taking out the only arterial route and you know what sorts of calls I’m getting? Irate people who knew about this disaster and could have read the news, but decided to wait until they normally would have left and are apoplectic they’re going to be inconvenienced due to not planning ahead.

Imagine if this occurred simultaneously with a massive earthquake in California, possibly “The Big One”. Could you imagine the hordes of people fleeing the carnage only to be stranded on the freeway? We used to have signs in Camp Fallujah, Iraq posted at the exits for those going on patrol that read, “COMPLACENCY KILLS”. I’m reminded every time I answer the phone.

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Neighborhood Defense: People, Weapons and Supplieshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/10/neighborhood-defense-weapons-supplies/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/10/neighborhood-defense-weapons-supplies/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 20:17:32 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11170 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the fifth and final article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids I listed some possible reasons and different types of threats you could see that would compel you along with your willing neighbors to take steps […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the fifth and final article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids I listed some possible reasons and different types of threats you could see that would compel you along with your willing neighbors to take steps to prepare to defend your neighborhood. In the second article we started looking at beginning to think about your neighborhood from a tactical perspective and how you can take advantages that you already possess to give you as the defenders of your home turf advantages over anyone trying to get in. Next I discussed gathering intelligence and thinking about how you would respond to threats you may see walking or driving down the streets towards your neighborhood followed up with ideas on how to increase your odds of survival when it comes to defending your neighborhood.

In this post I want to go into what I think are some logical weapons and supply considerations that would give you an upper hand if you were faced with a situation where you were trying to defend your neighborhood. Just like all the previous posts in this series the assumption is that there has been a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no local rule of law.

Before I dive in though I want to clarify what these posts were meant to be as I have had some great questions and dialog on the previous posts. These articles are simply thoughts and suggestions from one man regarding a hypothetical event in our country that virtually no one has ever lived through.  These are my ideas based upon reflections I have had when I considered potential realities for our country with our current society. That doesn’t mean they will ever come to pass. It also doesn’t mean that what works for one person will work for everyone. I try to give ideas and my reasoning behind those ideas. If none of that works for you, no big deal. The key is to start thinking about how you would solve this problem yourself with your resources and limitations that will most likely be different than mine. I believe the simple act of thinking about a scenario like this could give you an advantage if you ever find yourself in a situation where you were faced with the prospect of defending your home or neighborhood from people in a Without Rule of Law scenario.

If you don’t believe that would ever happen, this series probably doesn’t do anything for you. There are many of our readers; actually a strong majority that do believe that some event could cause a situation just like this. In a recent unscientific poll I conducted as part of a giveaway, the number one response to the question “What is the SHTF Event you are prepping for?” was Economic Collapse. Do you foresee or are you concerned with a possible Economic Collapse in our future? Maybe you don’t but you can see the value in preparing just in case. Could an economic collapse cause widespread chaos and looting? Could an Economic collapse cause people in your town to start acting without regard for laws since there would be no law enforcement anymore? I think it is possible with the right circumstances and that was the motivation behind this series.

What do you need? – The People Problem

Get to know your neighbors now before any crisis.

Get to know your neighbors now before any crisis.

One of our readers pointed out that to defend a neighborhood you would need people and lots of them. I agree that the more people you have the more able you will be to defend your neighborhood. I also agree that the more people you have the more resources you will be able to pool, but there are a couple of questions. How do you get these people in the first place and how do you convince them that it is in their best interests to chip-in so to speak to help protect the neighborhood? Do you run around now like Chicken Little talking about the impending doom and risk alienating everyone?

This is a tricky issue because I don’t believe that too many people can convince their neighbors that because of (insert your favorite grid-down threat here) we need to band together now to plan and prepare to defend your neighborhood. Now I know that some of you have survival groups already and some even have retreats and plans to bug out to the woods when the SHTF. You train together every weekend and work on getting your cabin ready with supplies, skills training and weapons practice. You are the exception.

I believe the overwhelming majority of people who call themselves preppers keep to their selves. You might have a buddy or two, but no retreat and no constitution governing how your survival group will function once the grid goes down. Even if you did, these aren’t your neighbors. I know there are exceptions, but I would bet money that most preppers are on their own to a large extent. Now add the rest of the world in there who isn’t prepping at all and you have a ton of people who will not be actively ready for anything like this. They don’t see a threat and don’t care even if they do. You won’t convince them now without jeopardizing your own security. So what can you do?

Hurry up and wait

Wait. Yes, I think in this instance you would need to wait until something happens that is real unfortunately. It would need to be something that started affecting people before they would understand and believe anything you said. I believe that if we had a crisis like I described above, you would have many more people who only then would see the rationale behind your words. Does that mean you live like a hermit until something bad does actually happen? No. It certainly doesn’t mean you should not try to help and encourage others to prepare for disasters if the opportunity arises. I think what is useful is getting to know your neighbors but focus on knowing them not converting them to preppers and drawing up a neighborhood defense plan. Get to know them as people now before anything bad happens. You want to have relationships with people first before you find yourself needing to place your trust in them if the SHTF. It may turn out that in the course of getting to know your neighbors you find out they have similar thoughts and concerns as you. This is useful information but remember to think about OPSEC when sharing your thoughts and preps. A little discretion now could save you later. If you find after a lot of time that you really do have a shared values, thoughts, preps then that person might be a great choice to form some sort of survival group with. I just wouldn’t lead with the neighborhood defense plan or offer up how the sky is falling.

While you are waiting for a reason to rally your forces, should you sit idly by not doing anything? No, I think each individual can continue to make preparations for disasters like this so that you are prepared in the eventuality that something does happen. Most items on my list below have other uses so it isn’t like you are only buying supplies for the grid going down and you may find yourself able to help a neighbor through some issue while the grid is still up and peachy.

Supply Ideas

Weapons and Ammo – Within reason. I think there are several weapon options that make sense for general home defense, hunting and even grid-down disasters. In my post on the Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on now I explain what they are and give my reasons for each. I don’t think you need an arsenal but the assortment I mention in that article should do just about anything you need. Now, if it comes to neighborhood defense there are some options better than others in my opinion. For starters, a battle rifle like an AR15 or and AK-47 would be my first choice primarily for range and effectiveness. Just about any good hunting rifle could pull double duty as a sharpshooter weapon by someone in an over watch role provided they were a good shot. You probably do not want to rely on pistols or shotguns as their range is more limited. They are better than nothing though. A .22 rifle while I know can kill people would not be my first choice for a defensive weapon. I know others will disagree with me.

Make sure you have more than a box of ammo for each too. I have my personal minimum ammo counts listed as well as an ammo inventory spreadsheet you are free to download. Do you need 50 guns? No, but there is nothing wrong with that if you have all the other bases covered first.

Radio Communications – Radios are a great equalizer that I discussed in my post yesterday. You can relatively cheaply provide communication options to your entire group just by purchasing some good radios.

TripFlareFood – What is food doing on the supply list? You want to make sure you have enough to feed everyone in your home at least so that you aren’t forced from the safety of your neighborhood to find more. By having food supplies you are eliminating one reason people will be wandering around if we do have an economic collapse.

Binoculars – Get a decent pair of binoculars to see what is going on or coming your way. If we never have a crisis you can watch birds or do like I do and watch my neighbors doing foolish things with fire in his yard. Better than TV.

Trip flares – Its probably more accurate to call this intrusion detection. The two options I came across are non pyrotechnic so there is no flare really. The first alerts you by breaking a light stick. Great for areas where you have a good bit of visibility and the glowing chemlight will alert you. These can be seen for a pretty good distance in darkness. The other option uses a CO2 cartridge to create a noise that will alert you too. Don’t buy anything like this until you are squared away on Food, Water, Shelter and Security

Chain Saws – Chainsaws sure make the work of cutting down those trees much easier and you never know when you will need one. If you live in ‘the city’ a chainsaw might not get much use. Our yard has trees in it, but we aren’t cutting them down so I don’t have a need for a chainsaw in my day to day life. This is another nice to have for me I think but extremely valuable if the grid goes down. You don’t want to rely on an electric chainsaw if there is no power.

Shovels – As well as a good selection of regular hand tools will come in handy. Shovels will be useful for digging in the garden, digging your defensive positions and digging your sanitation trenches to keep waste from making everyone sick.

Work Gloves/Heavy duty boots – I have talked to other readers before about this subject and even wrote an article on making sure you have the right footwear for the occasion. If the grid goes down, you do not want to be running around in flip flops ladies. A sturdy pair of boots will be what is needed when you have to survive and staying pretty isn’t the most important part of the day. Men too should have a good pair of boots, some good work pants like Carhartt and sturdy gloves. The same goes for cold weather gear and rain gear. Those flimsy raincoats they sell now (yes I have one too) won’t keep you dry in a real rain for long.

Sandbags – Sandbags are relatively cheap. You can buy sandbags in bulk for .36 cents each and they have a ton of uses. This is on my list to buy once I have a few more of the essentials out of the way and I plan to put them in the shed until they are needed. Sandbags can be used to secure your home from water if it is flooding and they can be used to stop rounds from penetrating your location.

Power – You will need a source of power to recharge those radios you purchased as well as all sorts of other things. You can purchase smaller solar chargers from a lot of places or work your way up to a 4 panel system. Gas will run out eventually and you probably don’t want the noise of a generator running if you are trying to keep your neighborhood safe in the first place.

Concertina/barbed wire – Concertina is also called razor wire and you need specialized gloves to work with this but if you are willing to do that, it offers a great deterrent. Traditional barbed wire is much easier to use and it won’t slice you open but still can be used as a means of keeping people out or tripping them up. You can always use it as fence too…

Night Vision – Probably the single most important thing you can buy and one that almost nobody has. I don’t have any night vision but I recognize their extreme utility. When it comes to force multipliers, there aren’t too many higher on the list than being able to see your enemy in pitch black darkness, but they aren’t practical for everyday use in any capacity. These are designed for only one reason and they are very pricy. This will be one of my last purchases unless I win the lottery but if money was no object I would have a pair or two. You can offset the cost by only purchasing a weapon scope with Night Vision, but then you can only use it if your weapon is up.

Hopefully this series was helpful and if nothing else gave you something to think about. I hope I was able to give out some ideas about how you could start thinking about neighborhood defense. Above all, I hope that none of us has to ever worry about it in our future.

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Neighborhood Defense: May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favorhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/09/neighborhood-defense-may-odds-ever-favor/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/09/neighborhood-defense-may-odds-ever-favor/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:35:21 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11160 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the fourth article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids I listed some possible reasons and different types of threats you could see that would compel you along with your willing neighbors to take steps to prepare […]

The post Neighborhood Defense: May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This is the fourth article in a five part series on Neighborhood defense and security in a grid down scenario. In the first article, Neighborhood Watch on Steroids I listed some possible reasons and different types of threats you could see that would compel you along with your willing neighbors to take steps to prepare to defend your neighborhood. In the second article we started looking at beginning to think about your neighborhood from a tactical perspective and how you can take advantages that you already possess to give you as the defenders of your home turf advantages over anyone trying to get in. The most recent article, discussed gathering intelligence and thinking about how you would respond to threats you may see walking or driving down the streets towards your neighborhood.

In this post I want to go into what I think are three tactics you could use to even or improve your odds at defending your neighborhood. These should be relatively simple actions you can take that would give your team an advantage over anyone trying to do you harm and make the job of taking what is yours possibly too much trouble to try. Again, the assumption for this series is that there has been a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no local rule of law.

Within that context, you would be responsible for maintaining the safety of your home at a minimum, but it would be smarter to join together with neighbors to provide security for a larger area, pool resources and provide a harder target to take advantage of by people who might try to do you harm. I don’t think many people will argue that it is wiser to be a lone wolf than it is to form a larger group for safety and security. Some of you may have already planned this out with a larger group. You may have plans to bug out to your remote retreat, but if you find yourself at home without the benefit of a squad of ex-Navy Seal buddies, what can you do?

Keep everyone on the same page – Effective Communications

Midland GXT1050VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio

Midland GXT1050VP4 Two-Way Radio

Simple radio communication is a huge force multiplier in a grid down scenario. Assuming electronics work, just having a few radios on hand will enable you and the rest of the team to stay in constant contact and be aware of anything that is happening around the area you are trying to secure. Most of you probably have radios that you use for camping or hiking or if you have children, even for play. I purchased a few Motorola FMS radios to be used just for cases like this when I need to stay in contact with my home and I am not traveling too far away. Another use was hunting so I could stay in contact with my hunting buddy out in the woods where cell coverage was non-existent. Midland seems to be the other big player in radios like this and they have a lot of models that are geared towards hunters.

We have used these radios for all sorts of activities and they work great. One thing to note is that almost all the radios I have seen will say something along the lines of that they have a 20 or 50 mile range and there is no way you will ever get that much distance from one of these radios. You will be very lucky to get 2 or 3 miles assuming you don’t have a lot of terrain interference. For more range you would want to move to Ham radio, but that is out of the scope of this article. For the purposes I am talking about here, neighborhood security; these FRS radios are a perfect option in most cases. A nice addition is to add an earpiece and microphone attachment like the Surveillance Headset with PTT (Push to talk) microphone. This will allow you to hear the radio communications in private which would be another huge benefit for roving patrols, guard posts or simply maintaining some form of stealth.

Newer models have upwards of 50 channels so you can take simple steps to talk relatively securely. These radios are on a public band so if you are on the same channel as someone within range, they will be able to hear you, just like any radio. It is possible to scan for communications on all channels, but this is probably not something you have to be too concerned with. Keeping radio discipline, changing your frequencies often and having different channels will make it harder for people to hear what you are saying. This isn’t foolproof I know so before you send me emails about how easy it is to hear someone talking, I know… It is just that you can still communicate effectively within the scenario I described above and it will give you an advantage over people without radios. Keep conversations to the minimum, use code words. If you have an enemy group scanning radios and taking that many deliberate steps to monitor and spy on you then you are in for a big fight anyway and military tactics will likely be your only saving grace.

Make them work for it – Restrict access

Trip Flare, Non-Pyrotechnic

Trip Flare, Non-Pyrotechnic

I said yesterday that we don’t live in walled compounds. Each neighborhood in America has its own challenges with preventing access but there are steps you can take to slow people down or halt vehicle traffic entirely. You may not be able to stop them from walking through the woods, but you can prevent them from driving up with a U-Haul or speeding their way in past any security you have planned.

I walk through my neighborhood frequently and each time I go on my Neighborhood Recon I am among other things looking for the best places to set up roadblocks. In order to take advantage of the terrain you would want to set roadblocks up to stop vehicles that would prevent them from going around or over the obstacle. Where I live, we have lots of large trees that could easily cover the entire road and then some. The only thing we would have to do is chop down the tree. That limits us when it comes to getting out though and would be more of a worst case scenario precaution I think.

A different strategy in areas with trees like this would be to use 2 or more, preferably 3 trees to create a mini-maze that any approaching car would need to slow down to a crawl to make it through. You would arrange the trees so that each only takes up half of the road but the vehicle would have to weave in and around the obstacles to get through. This would allow you to still exit using a vehicle (assuming they still were running) as well as let people back in if they left in a vehicle. At the same time, it would slow someone down who was trying to get in sufficiently that they could be engaged with small arms fire if the threat was intent on getting in and your Rules of Engagement stated that deadly force was required in this instance. You could pretty easily block several roads in short order with this strategy. You could do a similar thing within the city and you would have the benefit of buildings to block anyone from going around the outside. You can also use cars that are probably simpler to move into and out of place but they can also be pushed out of the way by a big enough vehicle. Trees aren’t so easy, even for an MRAP.

What about people walking in through the woods? This is when roving patrols and multiple observation posts will be a good idea, but not always possible. It really comes down to how many people can watch these locations. If you don’t have enough, you will have to contract your perimeter to something you can manage with the available personnel. Another option would be simple trip flares. These would work at night to alert you that someone has entered your perimeter. These are great ideas, but they have their drawbacks too like only warning you if you can see them. You can purchase chemlight versions which are relatively quiet and trip warning devices that are audible using compressed air.

Cover all the angles – Defensive Positions

Once you have the roads blocked, you still have to manage any traffic coming to your roadblocks. Ideally, this would be an area where people posted on guard could maintain control of traffic while still keeping them safe potentially from incoming rounds at the same time. In a grid-down scenario like this the best thing to stop bullets is mass, but not many of us will have the ability to build or construct concrete pill boxes. I think for the prepper who wants to have a plan, but doesn’t necessarily need to build a bunker a simple foxhole makes a great idea. The design is straight forward and only requires a shovel. As an added bonus, you could add sandbags to the top and sides, but a well-built foxhole should protect you from any rounds that you could expect. What about those big trees you dropped on the road? Sure, those could work too, but only give protection from the front and could even be used as cover by the other side.

How many positions do you need? Again, it comes down to what you can supply with resources, but I think a minimum of one position at each entry way. This can be manned by one, ideally two people with a radio. If you have remote patrols outside of your perimeter or a spotter high up, they could alert the team that someone is approaching. I have considered the roofs of houses or hunting climbing stands as options to get a birds eye view of the approaching area.

If the scenario really descended into anarchy, you could also construct pits to trap men who made it through the outer perimeter. These would be lined with sharp sticks or bamboo and probably wouldn’t kill anyone but it would give them an injury that could incapacitate them.

If all else fails…

Have a plan B. You could be overrun by superior numbers or they could get the upper hand in some way. Have a fallback location and a rally point somewhere away from your location. This is another great use of the radios because everyone in your group can know what is going on with contact and the plan if you all have to bug out quickly to the woods.

Tomorrow I will wrap everything up by talking about what types of weapons and supplies you can stock up on now to help your group defend your neighborhood.

 

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Coordinating your Neighborhood Intelligence and Response Planhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/08/neighborhood-watch-intelligence-response-plan/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/08/neighborhood-watch-intelligence-response-plan/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:08:23 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11150 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In the previous article, I discussed concepts of viewing your neighborhood from the perspective of tactically defending it based upon the assumption of a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no rule of law. This would be an extreme circumstance that we could only expect in the rarest […]

The post Coordinating your Neighborhood Intelligence and Response Plan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In the previous article, I discussed concepts of viewing your neighborhood from the perspective of tactically defending it based upon the assumption of a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no rule of law. This would be an extreme circumstance that we could only expect in the rarest of possibilities, but I do think it is an interesting thought exercise. My hypothetical scenario doesn’t necessarily depend on a complete government collapse, but we will assume there is no local law enforcement at the time.

Assuming this was the case and you lived in a neighborhood that was under a threat – that threat could range from relatively harmless looting (in the grand scheme of things) to something more organized and deadly like roaming gangs. I identified three types of people who you could conceivably in this scenario be threatened by:

  • Looters
  • Desperate Nomads
  • Bands of Criminals

I chose these three lose groups based upon the duration and severity of the event. We will assume that since there is no local law enforcement, the situation is very dire but the duration may only be relatively short. For example we could have an EMP that wipes out our technological infrastructure in our local area instantly, but people still have enough food to eat to prevent starving and riots haven’t begun yet. In that case, I don’t think you would see organized gangs of MS13 members rolling through the countryside, but you could easily see some looting as people took advantage of the temporary chaos.

Lastly, we have to assume for this series that your neighbors feel threatened like you and wish to partner with you to defend your collective home area from outsiders’ intent on doing you harm. I have one reader at least who lives in Utah and has a completely different relationship with his community but for the sake of this article, we will go on the assumption that your neighbors aren’t kicking you out at the first sign of trouble.

Establish Rules of Engagement

Before we talk about circling the wagons I believe it helps to discuss our planned response to any trouble that could come walking down the road. The term ‘Rules of Engagement’ simply put means what level of force are you going to bring on the people you are preparing to defend your neighborhood from. In this case, anyone who is or has breached your neighborhood watch on steroids and plans to or has conducted what we would consider criminal activity. This is probably one of the easiest and most difficult moral and ethical calls to make, but I think it is important that you and your group both understand and agree with what will be done with people who are caught or who must be prevented from getting in.

These rules will most likely not be hard and fast rules, but could vary dependent on the situation. For example, if you are posted on the perimeter of your area of control (the end of your street) and someone approaches you while you are on guard defending your home from looting, is looking for food, you wouldn’t use deadly force on this person. On the opposite side of the spectrum if someone was in a vehicle approaching your roadblock at a high rate of speed and refused to stop or alter course after an escalation of warnings, deadly force might be your only option. What if the threat was a global pandemic and the person approaching showed obvious signs of some form of sickness? It highly depends on the scenario and the situation. So with so much ambiguity, what good are any so called “rules”.

In war, the Rules of Engagement let our military forces know exactly what is expected of them. For example, ‘don’t fire unless you are fired upon’ is pretty simple to understand. With this rule your team should limit the number of deaths to only those people who have clearly demonstrated they intend to do you harm. If they shoot at you first, it is then technically OK (according to rules of engagement) to blow their heads off. Again, this is war I am talking about.

In a collapse scenario without any rule of law there are so many factors you have to take into consideration. It is very possible that whatever you do could come under legal scrutiny if and when the system is restored. If this happens, you may have to answer for your actions so careful consideration should be given to the level of force you plan to carry out in the duty of protecting your neighborhood. One goal should be to prevent as much as possible someone going off half-cocked and killing someone because they are scared or stupid. It is for this reason that I think it is helpful to have rules of engagement for your neighborhood watch. In most practical cases, you can not bring deadly force on someone who is stealing. Even if they are stealing your TV from your home. Deadly force is reserved for when your life or the lives of others are threatened. You would be on the wrong side of the law if you shot them. The event and severity will dictate to you what those rules should be in your situation and hopefully, wiser heads would prevail.

Gather Intelligence

Knowing who is entering your perimeter is key to having the advantage.

Knowing who is entering your perimeter is key to having the advantage.

is going to help you make decisions, make plans and adjust your tactics. Intelligence is vital if you plan on carrying out an effective defense of your location. Without intelligence you are limited in your scope of knowledge to what you can see and hear.

There are two immediate areas that you can gain intelligence on and they focus immediately on the access areas and the approaches toward your observation posts as well as further out. Now, a reader commented on my other post that having patrols is not realistic. That is probably very true if the crisis hits and it is only you and 2 neighbors who are guarding everything. If you have 50 people in a few dozen homes it becomes much more feasible and patrols outside of your neighborhood will give you better intelligence on what is going on around you as well as alert you to threats much earlier. With roving patrols, you could radio back to the rest of the group intelligence about who or what is approaching. Even minutes advance notice  could give your group more time to prepare and the edge in any confrontation.

Incoming traffic

In our neighborhood we have just a few streets in but we are not surrounded by walls. Our first priority would be to prevent access to vehicle traffic that wasn’t approved. We could do this in a number of ways that I will go into on tomorrow’s post but you would also have foot traffic. People dismiss the idea of the Golden Horde, but I do believe in a scenario that I described where there has been some crisis that has temporarily eliminated local law enforcement you could see people traveling from their homes looking for safety, food or shelter. It just depends on what the disaster is.

For people who are approaching on foot you will want to gather and report at a minimum the following:

  • Number – This is simply how many of them there are. If this differs from the number that actually show up you could assume that one or more of them is hiding. Is this for their safety or to ambush you?
  • Disposition – Are they armed? Do they look like they could be trouble, or is it a woman with a small child (not that they can’t be trouble too)
  • Direction of approach – Where are they coming from? Are they coming down the road or through the woods?

All of this should be relayed to the rest of the team on your neighborhood watch so they are aware of the situation and have the intelligence they need to take action should your position be overrun or compromised in some way. This is a perfect time for a great radio system and I will go over some relatively simple and inexpensive options tomorrow.

Response Plan

What are you going to do when people show up? This is when some of your Rules of Engagement will need to come into play but maybe more importantly wisdom and maturity. If these people get to your location, what will your plan be to address them? What if they are lost and need directions or food? What if this is someone in a car? What if it is 4 guys with tattoos that you have never seen before in a car with guns and they say they live in the house on the next block? What will your plan be to first stop them, interrogate them for information that could validate their story or turn them around? What will your plan be if they start shooting? What if you do not have any weapons?

I know there are people out there who will instinctively think that what I am discussing is a little odd. I mean, how bad society could get for us to see that type of behavior on our streets? There is no way our government would allow anything like this to happen because FEMA would be right down the street soon you say with food and blankets and care packages from churches all over the world. It would have to be bad, I will certainly give you that, but it isn’t without precedent. You only have to look at any number of conflicts or wars to see innocents killed by bad people. Right now, groups like ISIS are running around and shooting hundreds of people for the fun of it. You might think it could never happen in our country and I hope you are right. But you don’t have to have a militant army running around to have violence. Just look at riots and looting and 100’s of teens swarming a shopping center and beating 3 people. Violence happens here too all the time. When it comes down your street would you rather you had a plan or just blind faith that nothing like that could happen to you?

Again, this is hypothetical and would only happen in dire circumstances. I don’t wish for any future reality like this to ever visit my neighborhood, but as part of prepping I do think of scenarios like this. I hope I never have to put them into practice.

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Thinking About your Neighborhood from a Tactical Perspectivehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/06/thinking-neighborhood-tactical-perspective/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/06/thinking-neighborhood-tactical-perspective/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 10:00:47 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11139 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Yesterday I wrote about forming the Neighborhood Watch on Steroids and described a situation where you might need to join together with others in your neighborhood to provide defense from people or groups looking to do you harm or simply steal what is yours. Long ago, there were no such thing as police officers who […]

The post Thinking About your Neighborhood from a Tactical Perspective appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Yesterday I wrote about forming the Neighborhood Watch on Steroids and described a situation where you might need to join together with others in your neighborhood to provide defense from people or groups looking to do you harm or simply steal what is yours. Long ago, there were no such thing as police officers who roamed around in their cars connected by radio and dispatchers who monitored a central 911 system. If trouble broke out, you and your family were on your own. You may have been able to rely on neighbors if they lived close enough but the defense of your property was a personal responsibility.

Flash forward to today and for a whole host of reasons our society has largely abdicated this responsibility to law enforcement. While there are many noble police officers out there, they are woefully outnumbered when it comes to people so while they may arrive in time to help, usually the police arrive after the drama has occurred and try to sort out the players as best as they can. This isn’t ideal when our society is functioning as it should be. A police presence could be non-existent in a crisis or disaster and it will be back to you and possibly your neighbors to defend your village or neighborhood.

Again, I am not talking about some snow that keeps people at home. I am talking about chaos where for whatever reason, law enforcement is unable to get to you much less protect you and you have bad people who are trying to get in. For the rest of these articles I am going to assume a national disaster that has rendered our nation in a crisis where there is no rule of law.

Rethinking your Neighborhood

Your neighborhood could be configured in all types of ways depending on where you live. In a larger city we might have boundaries that are simply streets. Your neighborhood might run a certain number of blocks ending at the river. It could be that your neighborhood is the traditional suburban subdivision complete with a sign out front. You could live in a gated community or your neighborhood might just be a dozen homes in the country.

Before you enact a plan to defend your neighborhood, it helps to think about a few things first.

Understand the Enemy – Who are you defending your neighborhood from? What kinds of threats could you expect to encounter? For the purposes of this article, we aren’t going to consider a professional military force. We will say that the enemy could be lone individuals or gangs who range from simply hungry and desperate to organized and violent. Depending on your location and the duration of the event, you might encounter all types of people.

Neighborhood map with icons.

Neighborhood map with icons.

Use Situational Awareness – This will be key to any defense and that is to know what you are protecting and who is trying to get in. The size of your defensive team will dictate how much area you can realistically try to secure. There are force multipliers obviously and we will get into those in an upcoming post, but you have to know your neighborhood better than anyone so that you can model your defensive strategies where you will have the most advantage.

In another post on Preparing your neighborhood against attack, I mentioned drawing out the boundaries. You may only be able to secure a couple of streets or even one street and it will help to draw out the streets identifying access areas, choke-points, natural cover and the assets you hope to control. Some resources you can use now are websites like MyTopo.com that will allow you to order a detailed topographic map of your entire area or Scribblemaps.com that will allow you to create your own maps and add symbols. Naturally, these would need to be taken care of before any crisis prevents you from access computers or the internet.

Use the defenders advantages

I mentioned also that virtually none of us have a walled compound so it isn’t like we can march along the wall and shine spotlights down on anyone trying to access your neighborhood like some type of Alcatraz Island. You will have to use the advantages you do have though to give you and the rest of your neighborhood defenders the upper hand. If someone does come into your neighborhood you will be able to rely on your strengths.

You will have the ability to fight from cover and to create fortified positions. Again, this is assuming a SHTF type of scenario. What can you use? Depending on the disaster you can roll cars into position, refrigerators, use stones that used to form your ornamental garden walls. For me if this really was a disaster I would be looking to build my own foxholes and augment those with sandbags. Digging a hole is free and a lot of dirt makes great cover. With planning and enough resources (people) the routes into your neighborhood that you want to defend can be set up to be highly defensible.

You have the home field advantage. You know your neighborhood and where everything is. You will know where your partners are with rifles trained on the bad guys. Communication will augment this but we will get into that later as well. You will know where paths through the woods go, where fences are opened or where special defensive devices meant to injure or slow the enemy are hidden.

You have the ability to prepare. Anyone who is intent on coming into your neighborhood will only be able to observe from the outside what is going on provided you don’t have patrols outside of your area watching for this behavior. You can set up defensive positions, deploy obstacles to prevent unwanted vehicle traffic and reinforce as you go along. If this is a gang who is somewhat organized they could have experience offensively but they will not have had as much time as you to prepare your neighborhood to be defended against them.

In the next article I will be talking about coordinating an intelligence and response plan so that your group will have direction and methods for knowing who is coming and what the neighborhoods response to various threats will be.

 

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Neighborhood Watch on Steroidshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/05/neighborhood-watch-on-steroids/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/05/neighborhood-watch-on-steroids/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11132 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In previous posts I have discussed home security concepts and how you could take steps to make your home more secure. Ideally, these steps would be ones we could all take to strengthen our home’s defenses but the sad truth is that most of us our modern home fabrication caters to aesthetics and not strength. […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In previous posts I have discussed home security concepts and how you could take steps to make your home more secure. Ideally, these steps would be ones we could all take to strengthen our home’s defenses but the sad truth is that most of us our modern home fabrication caters to aesthetics and not strength. We like light and windows too much and our homes while relatively strong are mostly built on frames that can easily be bashed in without too much effort and a sledge-hammer. Yes, I know they have plywood on the outside, but if I can drive my car through the wall, it isn’t too stout is it?

My wife and I like to play this game where we have won the lottery and we are discussing the first thing we will buy. Usually, at the top of the list is a new home far away in a remote stretch of wilderness. Since this is pure fantasy – mostly because we might buy one lottery ticket a year- the sky is the limit with construction. It is during these conversations that the stark difference between my idea of a dream home and my wife’s come into focus. For example, she wants a lot of big windows to check out our fantastic view of the hundreds of acres we will own. I tell her that we can’t have big windows because we have to think of security. Instead I suggest that if we have the large picture windows, we also install roll down hurricane proof metal shutters that would come down and secure all the windows from any damage. Yes, I know this is like something out of Batman, but Hey! I won the lottery in my mind.

Needless to say these conversations never go anywhere and no we haven’t won the lottery so I have to take all my defensive problems back to my current reality house instead of hiring some miracle contractors with an unlimited budget to solve it for me. But why do I need super Batman strength security in the first place?

What am I worried about?

I do not live in a “bad neighborhood” but you always want a home that you feel safe in regardless of the situation outside. Usually this is from the prospect of someone breaking in and stealing what you have or just plain busting down the door to do you harm. Our homes like I mentioned above are all easily breached with some basic tools, brute force or a little time. Heck, it only takes a rock to bust in a window and people can walk on in. A stiff boot will work on most doors the first try and that is if they are locked in the first place.

I think of regular home security problems when there are police and electricity and food on the grocery store shelves. I also think about home security when none of those things are present. If you have a grid-down collapse scenario your home most likely won’t stand up to a couple of determined people for long if they go unchallenged. It is times like this that unless you have a walled fortress you need to consider adding some resources to your defense plan. You could hire those contractors I mentioned to start retrofitting your castle with those handy hurricane shutters but that is impractical. It is much wiser to revert to the Neighborhood watch on steroids.

What is the neighborhood watch on steroids you ask? You have heard of the neighborhood watch before and some of you may even have this in your neighborhood. I remember that we had a home in our neighborhood that was broken into several years back and all of our neighbors got together at a meeting to discuss forming a neighborhood watch. We had a police officer come in and talk briefly about what we should and should not do and we all received small flimsy signs to put in our yard that said words to the effect of “This neighborhood is protected by neighborhood watch”. I think there was one lady who volunteered to roam the streets but that is about the last I heard of it and once the flimsy sign rusted and faded it found its way into my trash can.

If you have a true collapse and you and your neighbor’s feel that they need to defend their homes it is better to join together and combine forces so that you can protect more homes at once. It is also more likely that several people watching over things will be more of a deterrent than a single older retiree walking her dog at night. This is another situation where it all depends on the disaster that has happened. If you are talking about a late summer storm that drops some trees on power lines and you have the resulting loss of power for a few days, the neighborhood watch on steroids probably doesn’t need to get activated.

If you have something more long-term and serious like a hurricane that robs power for several weeks and damages homes or displaces people that neighborhood watch might be necessary to prevent looting. Thinking more long-term and dire than even a hurricane; if the police are unable to come to your aid, there is widespread looting, theft, panic and chaos – you should already have a plan for keeping your neighborhood safe from intruders. All of your able-bodied neighbors should be on board with joining the neighborhood watch if that happens. The more people you have watching, the safer you will be but the disaster will dictate what is necessary or prudent to expect in the way of escalation of force.

Defending the Neighborhood

Who are the people you could expect to pose threats to your neighbors in a grid down or Without Rule of Law scenario? I think it depends on the length of the crisis almost completely. If the crisis or disaster is relatively short-lived and some semblance of order is returned this problem will go away. The more prolonged or serious the crisis is and the more desperate or bold the people will become.

Looters – This will be the first wave and it is completely normal to see people looting over just about any event these days. There was looting in Ferguson that materialized out of protests, but the looting I am referring to would be more like what we saw after Hurricane Sandy. After the storm had passed, people were found rummaging through homes that had been evacuated due to the alerts. With nobody there to stop them, these opportunists simply had their run of many homes. I even heard some reports that looters would dress up as utility workers so they would look legitimate, but that may have only been rumors. Even if it was, I can see people trying it.

Desperate People/Nomads – After the looters have gone or when the subject of what people are looking for turns to necessities instead of flat screen TV’s I think people displaced from their homes would be the next group. We talk about the Golden horde moving out of the major cities and into surrounding communities and I think this is something we could easily see with the right disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people from New York alone could disgorge from the city if they had some form of terrorist attack or outbreak. When people are forced to flee so fast they can’t take any supplies, they will be left with what is on their backs. Even if you had a great Bug Out Bag, how much food are you taking with you? What will you do when the food is gone but the emergency isn’t over yet? These people will be looking for food and supplies and they may be walking through your neighborhood.

Bands of criminals – I think this is only likely in the most severe form of disaster after we have a long absence of law and order. Groups of thugs will join together for survival and once they do, they will start roaming outward to gain the same thing that others will be looking for;  items they need or want in order to live. If you are still in your home and you haven’t bugged out to your secret walled complex with rolling metal shutters in the middle of the forest, they could find your neighborhood. These people pose the greatest threat in my opinion because they will most likely be armed and will have experience with assaulting homes and people. This will be a larger organized group that has survived long enough to know a thing or two and the will require the most force and tactics to deal with effectively.

I plan to expand this topic to cover tactical ideas, strategies and supply considerations in upcoming posts that will all be linked and I’ll talk about how you to transition from no plan at all to a neighborhood watch on steroids. Have you given any thoughts to your neighborhood security? Do you plan to join your own Neighborhood Watch on Steroids?

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Could We Have it All Wrong?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/04/we-have-it-all-wrong/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/04/we-have-it-all-wrong/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:00:49 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11104 Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald. Reading the article “Bartering With Your Soul” by Pat Henry really struck a nerve and got the gears turning for me the other night. I believe it is an inspired gift for Pat’s writing to have such an effect – in fact, […]

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Written by Matt Sevald on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: The following guest article has been generously contributed by Matt Sevald.

Reading the article “Bartering With Your Soul” by Pat Henry really struck a nerve and got the gears turning for me the other night. I believe it is an inspired gift for Pat’s writing to have such an effect – in fact, his easy-to-understand beginner’s guide and level-headed approaches actually broke the camel’s back for me and got me acting on Prepping instead of just reading about it and feeling discontented with the way I believe the world is headed. I appreciate that about The Prepper Journal because there are plenty of other places to get a dose of anti-government fear mongering and “rednecks with guns” stereotypes on the internet. I think the best advice Pat doles out for those willing to listen is to diversify your plans regarding the threats or dangers for which you prepare, a take on the old adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. This seems like common sense (to have a general form of preparedness rather than to bet the farm on one specific scenario) but even the best of us sometimes lose sight of the forest for the trees.

The Bartering article reinforced that for me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Pat rightly put forth the hypothesis things may not even begin to resemble for quite a while the economic systems of Little House on the Prairie. Not only that, but even a modern day black market-style scene might not even be feasible as people distrust one another and either have nothing to trade or don’t want what you’re willing to give. Maybe they’ll rob you, or murder and rob you, or murder and rob you and steal your wife or daughters. Or maybe no one will have any gas left and will have to carry everything on foot since there isn’t an abundance of Conestoga wagons and draft horses. Maybe the bazaar we are relying on in our plans can’t be a reality until a great deal of time filled with work passes. But isn’t this the fairy tale we’ve all envisioned for our dystopian future selves as we brush off the rubble and blaze a new path to a better civilization?

Prepping is More Than Just Gathering Items, it is Thinking Ahead

Time and again it’s been said preps are only going to be useful for the emergency at hand. If a hurricane knocks the power out for a couple days, odds are all the guns and ammo may not be necessary, though urban areas tend to devolve into rioting and looting much sooner than other areas. Odds are, though, you won’t need 6 months’ worth of food. Likewise, if a blizzard closes the streets, fifty cases of toilet paper won’t be needed either. However, these things are good to have because of the “what if?” factor. Pat likes to use the EMP catalyst, so I’ll go with that because it is actually what spurred my idea for this article on in the first place.

Imagine waking up one morning and nothing electronic works. It is revealed that some terrorist group has caused a coordinated EMP attack knocking out electronic infrastructure across large swathes of urban centers across the country, most notably the eastern and western seaboards. The Government is still in control, but reeling with having to do things like they did after WWII. Some military and essential Federal sites were hardened, but the vast array of civilian communication system cores are shot, leaving hundreds of millions of people without basic utility services or ways to exchange information. Our financial machine – and the economy it powers – comes to a violent halt.

In this scenario, Uncle Sam still holds the reins. The Feds are a bit slower in reacting but our Government is extant. The longer this goes on the more stress Government will feel as it deals with ensuring defensive measures are still in place, with getting food, water, and emergency aid shipments going, with re-establishing the grid, and with handling the riots that are sure to come as people go hungry, but America is a land of hard-working, intelligent people who will be able to right the floundering ship after a time. America, perhaps changed, will still be around.

If we’re honest, do we really imagine that the Federal Government would allow itself to cave in because of such a scenario? Not only is it the Government’s job to persevere during catastrophe, but it is filled with very powerful, very rich, and very influential men and corporations who like living high on the hog. They don’t want their livelihoods interrupted and they’ll fight tooth and nail to remain king of the hill. They would react very intelligently, if heavy handedly at times, to control the chaos and ensure that they remained safely elite. What’s more, I believe that the overwhelming majority of Americans would let them do it, too, so long as the lights came back on, we didn’t have to crap in the woods, and Netflix continued to stream “The Bachelor”. Not really a lot of breathing room for the bartering economy to gain hold on a long-term, wide scale level, is there?

But That’s Just One Scenario

In all likelihood, no terrorist group is going to wipe out the grid in multiple cities. Even nation-wide coordinated infiltrations and assaults like the Tet Offensive in the Vietnamese homeland, being supported by Communist China and the USSR, didn’t have the ability to do the kind of damage we are talking about for this TEOTWAWKI scenario. Furthermore, this attack would be on our homeland, and American patriotism might galvanize us against any rioting. We’d probably be driving our personal vehicles to the affected areas with baskets of homemade bread and bottles of water to alleviate the suffering of our fellow countrymen. Our military would annihilate any sort of rag-tag group of terrorists within a week, no matter how organized and funded they were, and that’s if gun-toting American citizens didn’t form posses first. Those two oceans separating us from the rest of the world are one of the greatest blessings America has ever had.

So how do we get massive, high-altitude EMP strikes on a great number of our cities and electronic infrastructure? It is my opinion that the only group capable of doing that is a modern nation-state armed with nuclear weapons. We’re talking a planned act of war. It’s not just some group trying to cause havoc; it’s a dedicated, trained, supplied enemy who wants to take us out. Not only are they launching ICBM’s at us to take out our electronic infrastructure, but the only logical next step is to send invasion forces across the oceans which have long protected us so that they can conquer that which they rendered ineffective before we fix it and retaliate with ground strikes.

Let’s argue that China’s in need of more lebensraum as Hitler put it, and they decide they want to wake the sleeping giant in his cave. During the fighting you can bet there’s going to be martial law and a whole heck of a lot of controls on local economics. There will be black markets but the Government will still be in place, so we haven’t reached a collapse yet. If America wins the fight, then we go back to the first scenario where Patriotism is strong and we deal with harsh laws as we rebuild just so long as life gets back to what we think is normal. But if America loses that fight we’re going to be occupied by a foreign army wanting our resources, our land, and our homes for its own use and people. It will be like the newer version of the movie Red Dawn where Americans are put on lock-down to collaborate with the occupiers until the immigrant waves are shipped in to replace us. We’re not going to go live in communes trading with each other because the occupying army will hunt us down and kill us or imprison us. Our freedom would threaten their very way of life. History teaches us that marauders go where the land and the wealth are. If the US Government doesn’t exist to protect us, someone will be moving in, with force, to take advantage of the power vacuum, and doing so with 21st century technology. This doesn’t bode well for our hypothetical bartering community.

Dissecting the Dream

Why then do Preppers envision a future where we are going to be living like we’re in the 1800’s on our homesteads? I believe it is because deep down that’s what we really want, so we plan in case our dreams come true. By not rationally thinking about realistic outcomes, we allow our denial to fuel our escapism. I for one am very disillusioned with the economy. I’m 31 years old with a family, we own a house and two cars, our children attend Christian private school, and my wife and I work nearly a combined 100+ hours a week to pay for it all, not counting all the time spent doing extracurricular activities with the kids and my 30 hours a week in nursing school. We bust our humps and spend most of all the paper money on bills and garbage that society tells us we need. We are blessed, and our bills are not ridiculous, but our income is low enough that we struggle paycheck to paycheck.

I long for a simpler life. I envision that life being on a 40 acre homestead with some woods and a stream or a pond, a milk cow, a couple bacon pigs, some chickens for eggs, some meat rabbits, and some sheep for wool so I can make clothing. I can see myself growing my own vegetables and legumes with a well and solar power. I’m ignorant, but not totally unaware, of just really how much work that will take, but my lot in life right now moves me to say I’d rather spend 16 hours a day to reap the benefits of my labor for myself and my family doing something for what I feel are the right reasons, rather than slaving away at a city job under fluorescent lighting for fiat currency fueling materialism. And don’t get me started on government regulation. Perhaps some Preppers are in the same boat.

Continue prepping, continue planning. These are intelligent things to do. But make sure to analyze your own biases every so often to make sure you haven’t started down a dead-end street.

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National Preparedness Month – The Real Proclamationhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/03/national-preparedness-month-real-proclamation/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/03/national-preparedness-month-real-proclamation/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:00:25 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11114 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

On August 29th, 2014 President Obama presented a proclamation declaring September National Preparedness Month in the United States along with words designed to underlie the importance of bringing awareness to this event. I applaud the proclamation and I want to take a few snippets of the President’s words and augment them for the readers of […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

On August 29th, 2014 President Obama presented a proclamation declaring September National Preparedness Month in the United States along with words designed to underlie the importance of bringing awareness to this event. I applaud the proclamation and I want to take a few snippets of the President’s words and augment them for the readers of the Prepper Journal. I am doing this, because the proclamation was all about the month and the inference is that you should go to Ready.gov for more information. While mentioning emergencies and “simple but important steps” in his proclamation he doesn’t offer specifics.

To be honest, I really didn’t expect him to. He has a pretty big job and that is what Ready.gov is for, correct? So, I went to Ready.gov to see what the government’s plan was for making us all appreciate this month and get prepared for emergencies. The theme for this years National Preparedness Month is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare” but I was a little disheartened to find most prominently displayed on the National Preparedness Month page, the following suggestions.

  • Download the How to get involved guide – Tips on hosting your own PrepareAthon! Day.
  • A digital engagement toolkit – probably the most thorough and lengthy document that is chock full of sample tweets, sample Facebook posts and chats promoting National Preparedness Month and the NPM website.
  • Share NPM messages on Social Media
  • Watch an ominous commercial on YouTube about some generic disaster where people are all crowded into a room looking very nervous. It sounds like thunder (or is it explosions) in the background.
  • Join their Thunderclap program which is a lot like Twitter – sharing messages via Social Media. It’s already over…
  • Download the high resolution NPM Logo – Sweet!
  • Promote the ready.gov page by updating your Facebook and Twitter cover photo with the NPM graphic.
  • Lastly, you can register for Nation PrepareAthon! Day.

Wow! That is a lot of information to digest isn’t it? I am very glad that our government is really going all out this month and trying their very best to tell the entire world about National Preparedness Month. It sounds like they want to make sure you are more Aware of their website than anything else.

OK, maybe I am being too hard on good old Ready.gov, I mean it is really important to use social media right? Let’s go back to the President’s proclamation which you can read here to find some useful informative tips.

“Before emergencies occur, we must make sure we are ready to respond”

Exactly right Mr. President! I agree wholeheartedly with that statement so the question is what can we actually do to make sure we are ready to respond to emergencies? Well, the simple answer is we can start getting prepared to handle a lot of different emergencies at the same time. It doesn’t matter what disaster you are faced with, 99% of the time you will still need to make sure you have the following bases covered.

Water – Make sure you have at a minimum one gallon of fresh stored water for each person in your home for a minimum of 30 days. That’s a lot of water, right? Yes, but water is the simplest thing to prepare for and is the most vital to life. Just look at the recent example of the chemical spill in Charleston where they were told not to drink their water for several weeks if you don’t believe this is critical. Water, if stored in a proper container doesn’t go bad so this is a prep that you can get and forget to a large extent. You can read more about storing water for emergencies on our site at the following links.

 

Food – Food, is more expensive than water of course, but you need to eat almost as much as you need water. Sure you can go without food for a lot longer than water, but who wants to do that? Having a well thought out food storage plan is probably the second thing most preppers start to take care of and we have plenty of resources on our site that answer your questions about food storage too.

Shelter – What do you mean shelter? I already have a house. Yes, but you could be forced to leave your house, or more likely you could be faced with the elements. In disasters, power goes out, natural gas service is shut off and many people can’t heat or cool their homes. Freezing to death or dying from heat stroke is no fun.

 

Security – Bad people take advantage of good people and this seems to happen much more often during a disaster or when people are seriously desperate. You need to make sure you have a plan and method for defending your family.

 

“It is every American’s responsibility to be prepared”

I totally agree Mr. President and that is why I started the Prepper Journal. If you are a Christian some would say there is a biblical mandate to take care of and protect your family. Even if you aren’t most people would agree that we feel a need to do what we can to protect our loved ones from harm. At its most basic, that means being able to protect them from disasters or emergencies as they arise and taking care of basic needs that will keep them alive.

You have to base your plans on your own situations, but by simply starting with the basics of Food, Water, Shelter and Security you will be so much better off than 100% of the people who are only updating their Facebook pages and Tweeting about how you need to get prepared. Don’t just tweet about this, do something today!

“There are simple but important steps we can all take to ensure we know what to do and have what we need in the event of a crisis”

Yes there are and we have been talking for over a year and a half about all manner of steps you can take. Everyone has to start somewhere and it is easiest to start with what you do every day. You drink water and eat no matter who you are so start with that. Once you have a small supply of food and water, move on to other items. We have plenty of free checklists on our site you can reference and learn, make plans and get prepared. You don’t have to post this on your Facebook page if you don’t want to. I won’t mind.

 

The intent behind this month should be to get everyone in a state of being prepared to take care of yourselves if for whatever reason, the government or the usual support structures you rely on are gone. I think it is one of my most important jobs as a parent and I try every day to get more people self-sufficient in as many ways as possible. You should be able to take care of yourself without FEMA, without the police department or the grocery store, maybe the pharmacy. At any rate, in an emergency you may find that you are the only one who is coming to your aid. Taking steps now to be prepared will only make your chances of survival better and your ability to cope easier. If you aren’t doing anything to actively prepare for these events that occur all the time, I hope you take the month of September and start. You will be so much happier if you do need to use your preps and you have them.

 

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WIN! – Surviving Doomsday by Richard Duarte – Giveawayhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/02/surviving-doomsday-richard-duarte-giveaway/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/02/surviving-doomsday-richard-duarte-giveaway/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:53:41 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11097 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Want to win a free copy of a great book? Now’s your chance to win one of two copies of Richard Duarte’s book, Surviving Doomsday.  I interviewed Richard earlier this year and you can read that interview here.  I also reviewed this book earlier and you can read my review of Surviving Doomsday here. Richard […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Want to win a free copy of a great book? Now’s your chance to win one of two copies of Richard Duarte’s book, Surviving Doomsday.  I interviewed Richard earlier this year and you can read that interview here.  I also reviewed this book earlier and you can read my review of Surviving Doomsday here. Richard is also frequently speaking at Prepper Conferences all over the nation and has also written articles for Off-Grid magazine, one of my favorites.

Surviving Doomsday is a great book for the person who is just getting started in Prepping and even if you are a hard core prepper already, you can win this for someone you know who hasn’t even started prepping yet. The book is easy to read and offers great advice on a wide array of topics. The contest is through Rafflecopter again, but this time you do not have to do any social media tricks, just answer a simple question. Anyone and everyone can and should enter. Of course if you would like to Like the Prepper Journal on Facebook or follow TPJ on Pinterest I would be happy for that as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to Camo Paint Your AR15http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/02/how-to-camo-paint-your-ar15/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/09/02/how-to-camo-paint-your-ar15/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:00:12 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11078 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When I purchased my AR15, I never really considered painting it and I loved the nice black finish. Over the years though I have come to realize that this beautiful black rifle really sticks out in the woods or anywhere else for that matter. All black has a habit of doing that unless it is […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When I purchased my AR15, I never really considered painting it and I loved the nice black finish. Over the years though I have come to realize that this beautiful black rifle really sticks out in the woods or anywhere else for that matter. All black has a habit of doing that unless it is dark. I finally came to the conclusion that it only made sense for me to paint my AR15 after considering a number of factors. For starters, I wear camouflage when I am hunting to blend in with the surrounding trees, brush and vegetation, so why shouldn’t my rifle? Secondly, professional soldiers who are trying to blend in go to great lengths to camouflage their location so giving your rifle the same treatment only makes sense. Why spend so much time on getting into a nice hiding spot, possibly with a ghillie suit and not have your rifle dressed for the occasion?

I know why I hesitated in the first place. When you pay that much for something, the last thing on your mind is to take a can of spray paint to it. I started researching how to camo paint your AR15 probably 6 months ago and knew I would try this out on my rifle eventually, but I was still a little hesitant to pull the (spray can) trigger and change the stock color of my beautiful black rifle. Maybe one of the things in the back of my mind was that if I ever paint my rifle, I will never be able to sell it. I don’t know why I considered that a problem because as of right now, there is no way I am going to part with my rifle. You can read into that what you like but it is one thing to take into consideration if you are thinking about a camo paint job for your little rifle.

I went online and read a lot about the painting process which if you have ever spray painted anything is ridiculously simple. Krylon has a line of paint that is specifically made for camouflage. Their camo paint works great on Ceramic, Glass, Hard Vinyl Plastic, Wrought Iron, Wicker, Metal, Wood and Plaster. That covered all the bases I needed and the colors perfectly matched all the cammo patterns I would use. As an added bonus, they have good instructions on how to paint camouflage patterns and even provide the camouflage stencils you can download for your own paint job. The stencils look similar to the random designs you would see on multicam patterns. The great part is that this can be used on any weapon out there so if you want to camo paint your hunting rifle (something I plan to do) this paint and the stencils will be perfect.

Rustoleum makes camo paint colors too but I used the Krylon for my rifle.

How to camo paint your AR15

The first thing I did was to remove my sling, scope and light. The reason I removed the scope is that I just purchased it and I want to make sure it will work before I cover it in paint. That is one modification I am sure they wouldn’t take back. The scope is a Nikon P-223 that is designed specifically for the AR platform. I will be reviewing this scope in the future.

CamoAR1

AR Prepped for the camo paint job.

Once I had the extras removed, I used painters tape to cover the magazine well, the trigger and the ejection port cover spring so that no paint would get in these areas. I am sure it would have been fine if I painted them, but I took the precaution just in case. Then as everything was wrapped up and ready, I hung the AR up and sprayed it down with brake cleaner. You can buy this at any auto store. The Krylon instructions said you didn’t need any primer but I wanted to make sure I removed the extra oils so the paint would adhere as well as possible. Once the rifle had been sprayed with the brake cleaner, I let it sit for about an hour to dry.

BaseCoat

Krylon Khaki as the base coat.

The instructions from Krylon said to work your way from lightest to darkest color. I used three colors (Kahki, Olive and Brown) and I think these are a great match for this time of year and the vegetation we have around our home. The great thing about this camo paint job is that you can repaint the rifle when the seasons change or if you make a mistake. The Krylon went on beautifully and had a great smooth finish that covered nicely. I don’t even think I used a half can on the whole rifle and it looked so good I half considered just leaving it like this.

Camo stencils from nature.

Camo stencils from nature.

I did consider cutting out the stencils from the Krylon site. I know there are sites that you can download the ACU digital patterns and cut these shapes up for stencils, but I wanted to try something more natural. And, I didn’t want to sit there with scissors all day… So I walked out into the yard and grabbed some various leaves, grass and sticks to use for my own natural stencils. This will work great regardless of where you live because your camouflage will match your local vegetation or it will in shapes anyway.

Place your stencils on the AR15 and overspray with a darker color.

Place your stencils on the AR15 and over spray with a darker color.

This next part isn’t really scientific and you can’t do this the wrong way unless you spray too much paint I think. For my first stencil I laid a branch with some leaves on the main part of my lower receiver and sprayed with my Olive green. I then repositioned the leaves in other locations and used other elements like the grass to lay down different patterns. The Olive shapes lets the Khaki come through and begins to break up the shape of the AR15. Once I had a nice pattern on the first side I moved the the other side. After both sides had been painted, I started using the brown with these stencils to add additional camo pattern.

Finished product on side one.

Finished product on side one.

The process is so easy and I was really pleased with the results. I plan to do the same thing to my Hunting rifle next since I have so much paint left. You can see the difference a little spray paint makes. In the winter if needed I can tone down the green and just just more Khaki and brown. This is a simple project that anyone can do for less than $20 and it only takes a few hours max from start to finish.

Before and after shot of the Camo paint job on my AR15.

Before and after shot of the Camo paint job on my AR15.

 

The new paint job works well with the multicam pattern too I think and blends so much better now with the rest of my gear. It’s not perfect, but I think it is so much closer. This is a great project you can try with your rifles too. That is if you don’t plan on getting rid of them. You don’t do you?

CamoPaintAR15

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Bartering With Your Soulhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/30/bartering-soul/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/30/bartering-soul/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:52:16 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11063 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bartering is the simple act of exchanging goods or services for other goods or services and it is how people have conducted trade since the beginning of time. Before there was money or even during times of a formal and regulated monetary unit, people have bartered with each other. When you have a bunch of […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bartering is the simple act of exchanging goods or services for other goods or services and it is how people have conducted trade since the beginning of time. Before there was money or even during times of a formal and regulated monetary unit, people have bartered with each other. When you have a bunch of chickens that produce more eggs than you can eat, you can trade your extra eggs for cloth to make new clothes, new shoes for your horses or in exchange for someone doing odd jobs around your home. Your chicken’s eggs or your cow’s milk, maybe a couple of rabbits or even something like a meal can have value to someone else. If the person you are bartering with agrees that what you have is fair value for what they are willing to give you then everything works out great.

Bartering is how almost everyone envisions we will acquire what we don’t have if the grid goes down. If we have some form of economic collapse where money is worthless or some catastrophe makes the use of our fiat money and banking transactions impossible, bartering is what we will all revert to. At least that is what everyone in the prepper community believes. I can see the usefulness and feasibility of barter too, but I think several conditions will have to be met first. There are also cases where initially bartering could be very dangerous so you would have to be cautious especially in a SHTF world, but you would also have to have the right environment for bartering in any form other than person to person.

More than one survival fiction book has a forum for barter in which many people come together at a predetermined location and time to bring everything they have to trade. The stories present a barter marketplace that reminds me of a flea market on the weekends where people set up everything they have and others peruse their offerings. If something is of value, and a good trade can be made, the transaction is sealed and we have bartering nirvana. I agree that something like this could happen, but I think it would take much longer than most people want to believe before anything resembling this could happen. It could have everything to do with the disaster that wiped out our ability to head to the local mall.

Let’s envision that there has been a terrorist strike on the United States. This terror attack was unleashed in two ways. The first was a cyber-attack on our economic infrastructure. A hostile state was able to hack their way into our financial computers and essentially cause a market crash. People for weeks are without any money and general pandemonium is starting to occur on varying levels around our country. After two weeks of this, our country is hit with several high altitude EMP devices so 75% percent of our electrical infrastructure has been wiped out. The lights go off and they don’t come back on. I think if these two events happened, you could say we would be looking at a SHTF event that would not be quickly solved. FEMA would not be bringing around blankets, those white tents and warm food for everyone. If our government was still in place, they would be hunkered underground trying to get control of the chaos that would quickly descend on our country.

If an event like this happened, I don’t believe that everyone would gather in their cul-de-sacs one evening and start talking about how they should hold a market. I firmly believe that in a SHTF world like this you would have wide spread lawlessness, violence, destruction, mayhem and death. I have documented why I believe this in a few other articles, but the point is, in a world like this, you are going to have to go through chaos before things settled down long enough to quietly gather with peaceful people and start trading all those supplies you have stored away for just this bartering opportunity.

Everything depends on the disaster700_ikdmaruomv8kopqiuidwwjn3wsj9n7ru we go through obviously. I guess if we didn’t have something this serious it would be different. OK, so we don’t have an EMP, but we have a depression brought on by an economic collapse or even just a slide into a hyper inflationary period that robs every one of their jobs, money and the ability to purchase anything anymore. Do you think the results would be less dire? Can you imagine a whole country out of work, poor, hungry and bored? I still see the same potential for violence and mayhem which would bring on still more problems. Just look at the most recent example of Ferguson which brought us riots that very nearly descended into martial law over the death of one man. Can you imagine when millions of people are going hungry?

What if you don’t have anything to barter?

The point I am trying to make is that I believe if we ever got to a place where we would all gather with our eggs and stand around and view the offerings of our neighbors, we will have lived through so much chaos that none of the bartering supplies you have stored will matter, unless you are rich and have warehoused tons of equipment and supplies. How long do you expect the violence and chaos to reign before anything resembling an orderly place for commerce would be possible? One year? 6 months? Two years?

During that time, my fear is that people will still need to acquire food. People will want to have protection, bullets, guns, shelter, and medicine. What if you are 6 months after the collapse and you don’t have anything to barter? What if you are a female whose husband was shot during a drunken argument with the neighbor? What if you are the teenage daughter who was hiding in the woods when a group of 6 men smashed in the doors of your parents’ home, killed them both and took all the food you had?

One of our readers, Matt wrote an article on our site where he discussed the value that people bring to a survival group. His article was very thought provoking to me and highlighted just one example of women trading comforts maybe even their souls for security. He used this in the larger context of contributing to a survival group in that these women would be the “baby-makers”. The impression could have been that they would have simply hooked up with someone who could take care of them or genuinely they would be marrying material to produce and raise children, but I started thinking about this in a slightly different but related context.

I was watching the movie Noah a few weeks back and there was a scene in the movie depicting a swarm of people trading their children for food. I’ll just leave it at that. It made me think that as a society, we have degraded the meaning and importance of life so much that something along these lines could be just as possible in a SHTF future as trading for packages of wheat and rice. When you have nothing to trade and you are desperate enough, if life is so bleak what will people be doing? This image of people trading their children for meat made me think of bartering in a grid down scenario if it got bad enough. It could be that like Matt wrote, women would be selling themselves either by the hour or permanently because they have nothing else to offer. It could be that people, viewing their children as burdens could want to trade their offspring for something of value. Could the bartering that actually comes to pass be more like the slavery markets than the flea market? Could we see people willingly selling their children for food?

New Bethany School For GirlsWe would never devolve to this level you say or if that is what happened I wouldn’t want to live a life like that. I know exactly what you mean, but think about it this way. If you don’t have anything to trade, what do you barter with? If you don’t have any of the millions of things people list as good bartering supplies, how do you get what you need? I guess I can be accused of painting a picture of the future that is too dark and bleak, but I think there is a small chance that something like this is possible, maybe not in your town, but in some places. When people are lost, beyond hope and dying – if the right opportunity comes across we could easily see people selling themselves just to have a chance to live. Don’t believe that we do not value life anymore? Just look at the sheer numbers of abortions there are each year. This fact alone shows that some people value their lives more than their unborn children. Is it so hard to believe that people would sell themselves for a shot of safety, some food and shelter or that they would sell their children in the right circumstances?

It could be that bartering wouldn’t be for toothpaste or clothes that you have stored away or candles you made from your beeswax as most people will either not have anything to barter with you for these items, or won’t care for what you are bartering. By the time people come out into the light of day, they may be just looking for any way out of the misery they are in, but they will have nothing to trade for.

I can see large groups forming not because they have been organically increased as part of a friendship that has grown through the years, but through acquisition. If you have a stable homestead with plenty of defenders you may not need anything that some traveler who is lost and hungry can tempt you with. They can however become a body strengthening your group. It could be that you let a man into your retreat, but he would be like an indentured servant working for their keep – forever. Will they have the ability to leave? It could be that a group lets several women in for the express purposes of using them for their work or their bodies and I think people will do this eventually. It is in this way larger groups will form and territories will increase.

Again, this is with the right type of disaster and not just a winter storm. I may be wrong, but I think it’s a possibility that life, if that is all you have to give will be given freely for the comforts of safety and food.  How you can you prevent this from happening to you? A lot of it may just be the hands of providence. Taking steps to prepare could insulate you initially and it is what I recommend for everyone. The more you can rely on yourself, the less you will be dependent on others and it could mean the difference between bartering with goods you have and bartering with your soul.

 

 

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Defensive Tactics When Under Firehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/29/defensive-tactics-fire/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/29/defensive-tactics-fire/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:03:25 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11046 Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Introduction DISCLAIMER: This article in intended to provide basic information regarding defensive tactics to preppers who are new to the subject. Those with a military background or other advanced knowledge in tactical maneuvers are referred to more advanced treatments of the subject, such as the excellent book ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse’ by […]

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Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Introduction

DISCLAIMER: This article in intended to provide basic information regarding defensive tactics to preppers who are new to the subject. Those with a military background or other advanced knowledge in tactical maneuvers are referred to more advanced treatments of the subject, such as the excellent book Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse by Max Velocity.

The tactics discussed here are purely from the perspective of group and community defense, and are limited to tactics that would apply to active-defense situations.

Tactics are defined as “the art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organizing operations, especially during contact with an enemy”. While authoring my preparedness book (“When There is No FEMA“) I covered the topic of using classic military tactics in post-SHTF situations. This was a natural extension of the treatment I had already given to guns and ammunition. (After all, what good is having a gun for defense if you don’t know how to apply it effectively?)

Recently, while viewing the excellent movie Lone Survivor, I came to realize exactly how important and pertinent the topic of defensive tactics is to the prepper/survivalist. As I watched the portrayal of those special forces soldiers being pursued by the Taliban across the rough, forested hills of Afghanistan I could not help but relate those scenes to the tactics I had covered in my book.

That realization of the importance of defensive tactics was further reinforced by recent social unrest in and around Ferguson, Missouri. From the news coverage of happenings there we have observed groups of loosely organized looters literally shooting their way into buildings. If and when a large-scale disaster strikes on a national level, and when pure hunger is the motivator, it is logical to infer that such violence will be acted out with much greater intensity, and almost certainly with less intervention by law enforcement.

SIDE NOTE: Many years ago I had a roommate who had dedicated his life to the pursuit of martial arts. One piece of advice he gave me that I have never forgotten was that one should always be imagining potential threats and vulnerabilities such that, when an attack materialized, one would be preconditioned to react instantly.   Needless to say, this bit of wisdom applies as much to group defensive tactics as it does to hand-to-hand combat.

The corollary to this advice is that a survival group should conduct regular drills and have regularly scheduled training sessions.

Terminology

Effective communications is essential to being able successfully carry out tactics, and communications benefits greatly from adopting a common vocabulary. The following are some common terms related defensive tactics:

  • Avenue of Approach – the path that an adversary is likely to take when approaching.
  • Field of View – a geographic zone that can be monitored through direct observation from a particular location.
  • Field of Fire – a geographic zone that can be protected by gunfire from a particular location.
  • Flank – a military formation’s undefended side.
  • Hard Cover – a location that provides both concealment and protection from weapons fire.
  • Soft Cover – a location that provides concealment only.
  • Suppressing Fire – weapons fire used to prevent the enemy from firing.
  • Kill Zone (“KZ”) – a geographic zone that has been selected to engage an approaching enemy for maximum effect.
  • Safe Zone – a location that has been specially hardened to withstand direct attack. Children and other non-combatants should generally retreat to a safe zone in the event of an attack.
  • Counter-Assault – an attack that is launched in response to an enemy attack.

 

Basic Tactics

Basic tactics tend to be quite simple and well known, and often involve defending from fixed locations.

They may also be combined and incorporated into more complex tactics. Basic tactics include:

  • Ambush – Concealing one’s forces and laying in wait along the anticipated avenue of approach to attack the enemy when they enter a predefined kill zone.
  • Crossfire – Firing on an enemy from two or more locations such that it is difficult or impossible for them to find cover (note that, as an example of combining tactics, an ambush may be designed to incorporate crossfire).
  • Charge – A frontal assault carried out with such speed that the adversary is (hopefully) overwhelmed before being able to mount an effective defense or counter-assault.
  • Flanking – Attacking an enemy on their undefended (or less well defended) side.
  • Hit and Run – Launching a surprise attack on a (possibly larger) opponent and quickly retreating before the advantage of surprise is lost.
  • Advance and Retreat

Knowledge of the defense-related terms defined above, as well as the basic tactics described here, should be covered by any survival group’s defensive training. By the time the group comes under any sort of attack these terms and concepts should be firmly fixed in everyone’s mind.

In addition to developing good knowledge of tactics, knowledge of the local terrain and the best possible level of physical fitness are critical. Physical strength will be necessary to carry out the tactics described here, and good tactics always required a knowledge of the local terrain (NOTE: If at all possible obtain and study topographical maps of any areas you may be defending).

 

Best Practices

Force Dispersal

In the case of two sides engaged in a gun battle, with each side finding hard cover in a single location, it’s easy to imagine that a dangerous stalemate condition might develop in which each side has the other pinned down and unable to move. However, if one side in that same conflict were to be able to fire from multiple locations – catching the enemy in a crossfire – then unless the enemy was in a position that provided complete protection from all angles the battle would soon be over.

The practice of ‘fanning out’ before engaging an enemy carries with it some significant defensive advantages as well. The loss of a single position (or the compromise of its cover) will not expose the entire group to direct fire. In fact, the availability of other team members to provide suppressing fire greatly increases the chances of survival for those team members who had been compromised.

The practice of trying to ‘fan out’ prior to engaging an enemy in a gun battle should be virtually built into the DNA of all defenders, and this practice should be reinforced continuously with drills and training before it is ever put to the test in the real world.

 

Topographic maps can be easily purchased for your entire city.

Topographic maps can be easily purchased for your entire city.

Positioning Along a Diagonal Line

It has been common throughout history, and across all branches of service, to deploy equipment and troops along a line that is diagonal to the enemy’s line of attack. This orientation, known as the ‘echelon defense’, carries the advantage that it provides the defenders with a wider field of fire while also largely denying the enemy a flank to attack. When engaged in a firefight it is not always possible to select specific positions due to the constraints of terrain and the availability of cover, hence this deployment may not be possible. However in some cases this may be possible (e.g. when using trees in a densely wooded area for cover).

When defensive fortifications are being constructed around a fixed location it may be possible to anticipate an enemy’s avenue of approach and construct those defenses along a diagonal to that path.

 

Advanced Tactics and Defensive Principles

The Flying Wedge

The ‘Flying Wedge’ formation is a V-shaped formation that is basically two diagonal Echelon formations that converge. Like the Echelon, it does not present a readily accessible flank while at the same time providing the widest field of fire. This V-shape also provides a ‘spear head’ that can be used to punch through an enemy’s front line. The flying wedge would typically be employed in in a situation in which there is reason to believe the enemy forces could attack either flank.

Leapfrogging

‘Leapfrogging’ is a tactic that involves two or more defenders (or groups of defenders) alternatively advancing and retreating in steps while the other defenders provide suppressing fire. Military trainers often advise those advancing or retreating to say to themselves … “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” … when in motion to help provide the assurance that they are not exposed long enough to come under fire. The risks associated with leapfrogging can be substantially reduced if one defensive position can serve as ‘overwatch’ and provide continuous suppressing fire.

The principle of leapfrogging applies to more than close quarters fighting. Two snipers, for example, could provide covering fire for one another over a larger geographic area.

Hills, the Defender’s Best Friend!

Use of terrain features has figured decisively into battles throughout history, and hills have proven to be particularly advantageous. In fact, the ‘reverse slope defense’ was employed quite effectively by the Duke of Wellington in 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo in his defeat of Napolean Bonaparte’s army. This simple-but-effective tactic involves the defender simply traversing a hill and then lying in wait on the opposite side for the pursuing enemy forces to crest the hill. The defenders will have taken cover or simply laid down on the ground to conserve energy, steady their aim, and present a more difficult target; while the enemy is more fatigued and silhouetted against the skyline.

This tactic is so well-proven that it merits additional discussion. An experienced adversary (particularly one with military experience) may recognize the potential danger involved in pursuing over a hill. If so then they will hesitate. If fighting in terrain that offers a succession of hills it may be wise to lay in wait behind a second hill, and observe the enemy’s behavior in traversing the first. This will provide some insight into the opponent’s own level of tactical sophistication.

When taking cover to lay in wait behind a hill, the defender’s forces should seek to fan out, as described previously, such that an approaching enemy will be caught in a crossfire.

SIDENOTE: It should be pointed out that the reverse slope defense becomes much less useful for those who are facing an enemy who has airpower.   Not only can aircraft launch attacks against the defender, but they can also communicate the defender’s position and defensive posture to any oncoming ground forces. Regardless of this, as was realistically portrayed in “Lone Survivor”, those aircraft are not always available, and they must eventually disengage to refuel. Also, if your opponent happens to be the stereotypical group of “mutant zombie bikers” they probably do not have airpower. Hence the tactic that worked so well against Napoleon may very well also be employed effectively on the modern post-SHTF battlefield.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If I could recommend any one defensive tactic to be considered above all others it would be the reverse slope defense. Not only has it proven itself repeatedly in real battle situations, but it can also be quickly executed with minimal training.

Flanking

The ‘flanking maneuver’ is a battlefield maneuver that is as old as recorded history. It involves engaging an enemy directly while also attacking them (preferably by surprise) on one or both sides of their front line. This can be a highly effective technique because:

  • When firing at an attacker to the side the enemy puts their own personnel into the field of fire.
  • The attack from both the front and one or more sides essentially constitutes a large-scale crossfire.
  • Enemy soldiers that are constantly watching over their shoulders for threats coming from multiple directions become quickly demoralized.
  • A flanking maneuver from both sides becomes a partial encirclement.

 

Defensive Tactics mean the difference between life and death in battle.

Defensive Tactics mean the difference between life and death in battle.

Flanking maneuvers are often attempted by mechanized or mounted forces, as their increased mobility helps to assure success. Nevertheless, flanking remains a very legitimate tactic for those engaged in close-quarters fighting on foot.

The best way to flank an enemy is to anticipate their avenue of approach and to have the forces attacking the flank stay concealed until the time comes to attack. In this way the enemy does not have the opportunity to observe the troops positioning themselves.

Defenses against a flanking attack include controlled retreat, which can pull the flanking forces back towards the front line; starting a new line of defense that faces the attackers on the flank, or deploying in a circular formation so that there is no flank to attack.

Encirclement

Encirclement consists of completely surrounding an enemy force and attacking them from all directions simultaneously. This tactic is much like flanking, and offers similar advantages; however it also has a serious drawback. If an enemy is surrounded and has no line of retreat then that realization can galvanize them to fight with much greater ferocity.

SIDE NOTE: The ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, in his renowned book The Art of War, describes an encirclement scenario as being ”desperate ground”. Because those on desperate ground are presented with no option but to fight to the death, he recognized the danger of engaging such an enemy. Sun Tzu’s recommendation was to always leave an enemy with a path to retreat, and to attack them during the retreat.

Hammer & Anvil

The Hammer & Anvil tactic is much like the flanking maneuver, except that rather than having the secondary force attack the flank (the side), it attacks the enemy from the rear. The name of this tactic originates from the fact that enemy is caught between the hammer (the force attacking from the rear) and the anvil (the front line fighters). Like the flanking maneuver, the Hammer & Anvil maneuver benefits greatly from the secondary force being highly mobile.

A variation of the Hammer & Anvil consists of the rear forces executing a series of hit-and-run attacks rather than fully engaging in battle.

 

The Hedgehog Defense – Drawing Fire and Thinning Enemy Ranks

The hedgehog defense was originally conceived as a tactic for armored warfare; however the basic principle can be applied to small arms combat as well. This tactic involves placing a strongly fortified and well-supplied defensive location along an enemy’s avenue of approach such that the enemy may commit some of their forces to attacking that position while their main forces continue to advance. This has the effect of thinning the enemy’s ranks prior to a major engagement. Once the enemy’s main forces have been defeated the defender can return to the fortified location to attack the enemy forces remaining there (in this case the returning friendly forces would constitute a hammer and the fortified location would constitute an anvil).

Ideally the hedgehog defense would incorporate a number of fortified locations along the enemy’s avenue of approach in order to successively thin their ranks.

The hedgehog defense should only be considered if some aspect of the situation really lends itself to the tactic (for example, if a fortified position already exists along the avenue of approach). The weakness of this tactic is that the enemy may choose to simply ignore the fortified location and continue advancing in full force (which is exactly what happened when Hitler’s blitzkrieg attack bypassed France’s Maginot Line during World War II).

Conclusion

Having access to weapons and ammunition is simply not sufficient for the defense of any individual or group hoping to survive a major, long-term disaster. Good equipment is part of a solid foundation for defense, however dealing with adversaries having superior numbers, equipment or any sort of organization requires training and tactics. Paradoxically, the better prepared a group is to defend itself, the less likely it is that it will find itself in danger. However, when the need to act does become inevitable, a good command of defensive tactics will make all the difference.

 
About the Author:

Richard Bryant is author of the preparedness book ‘When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal People in (Very) Abnormal Times’ and a long-time preparedness group organizer in Central Florida. He has recently relocated permanently to his disaster retreat in rural West Tennessee. The first 60 pages of his book are available for review and download at http://www.nofema.com.

 

 

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Is it Crazy to Worry About the Golden Horde?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/28/crazy-worry-golden-horde/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/28/crazy-worry-golden-horde/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:42:42 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11033 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For years, I have listened to people in prepping circles talk about “The Golden Horde”. What is that you ask? Well, the golden horde is a concept that as far as I can tell was introduced by James Wesley Rawles. I like Mr. Rawles – have several of his books in my prepper library and […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For years, I have listened to people in prepping circles talk about “The Golden Horde”. What is that you ask? Well, the golden horde is a concept that as far as I can tell was introduced by James Wesley Rawles. I like Mr. Rawles – have several of his books in my prepper library and I have been going to his website for years. Mr. Rawles is the writer of several prepper fiction novels (Patriots, Survivors), and probably the first survival book I ever read How to Survive the End of the World As We Know it . He is also the owner of the popular survivalblog.com website. Mr. Rawles’ golden horde concept roughly says that if we have a TEOTWAKI type of event, the major population centers will soon see a mass exodus of people out of the cities and into the surrounding countryside because the cities will be unlivable. The thinking will be to head to the countryside where there is more room, less violence, more food and a safer existence than in the cities.

The historical Golden Horde was a Mongol tribe back in the 13th century, but for the sake of Prepping and how the modern interpretation of this concept could apply to you, I will use Mr. Rawles’ own words in describing what he meant by this concept:

Here is a mental exercise: Put yourself in the mind set of Mr. Joe Sixpack, Suburbanite. (Visualize him in or near a big city near where you live.) He is unprepared. He has less than one week’s food on hand, he has a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that he hasn’t fired in years, and just half a tank of gas in his minivan and maybe a gallon or two in a can that he keeps on hand for his lawn mower. Then TEOTWAWKI hits. The power grid is down, his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap. There are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed. Now he is suddenly desperate. Where will he go? What will he do?

Odds are, Joe will think: “I’ve gotta go find a vacation cabin somewhere, up in the mountains, where some rich dude only goes a few weeks out of each year.” So vacation destinations like Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, and Squaw Valley, California; Prescott and Sedona, Arizona; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and the other various rural ski, spa, Great Lakes, and coastal resort areas will get swarmed. Or, he will think: “I’ve got to go to where they grow food.” So places like the Imperial Valley, the Willamette Valley, and the Red River Valley will similarly get overrun. There will be so many desperate Joe Sixpacks arriving all at once that these areas will degenerate into free-fire zones. It will be an intensely ugly situation and will not be safe for anyone. In some places the locals may be so vastly outnumbered that they won’t survive. But some of the Joe Sixpacks will survive, and then the more ruthless among them will begin to fight amongst themselves for the few remaining resources. They will form ad hoc gangs of perhaps 6 to 30 people.

Now, with that context I will try to give my perspective on this question because I have heard a few of my fellow bloggers, some with no more expertise in this topic than Mr. Rawles or anyone else for that matter, give their opinion that is it foolish to think that the cities will disgorge themselves of people in a TEOTWAWKI event. They argue that people will sit and wait and never leave major metropolitan areas for all number of reasons. They say it could be they are too used to being catered to and will just sit waiting for handouts to come from the government. Others say that the roads will be blocked so there is no way to leave. Not wanting to be left out on the fun, I’ll give my own unlearned opinion below.

What is the Event we are talking about here?

As with all things in life, the situation you are actually faced with will determine the available choices you have or more appropriately, what choices you are forced to make. To say this entire concept is without merit is foolish I think and it shows a lack of imagination to say that this could never happen. I can easily see situations that would force people to leave their homes or cities and if you only have one potential disaster in mind you aren’t seeing the big picture. Everything depends on the disaster as I have said before so while one event might not cause any disruption at all, another could change the world. People are fleeing all the time so this isn’t some bizarre concept that lives solely in the realm of prepper fantasy.

YazidisFleeingAugust112014ReutersViaTimeMagIn Mr. Rawles’ mental exercise he was using a power outage. What caused this power outage? We don’t know but it has been long enough that for Joe, “his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap.” We have to assume the power has been out for a long time or the outage was extremely severe and the Just In Time inventory has been depleted. Utilities are out so a major city would get ugly fast. Have you ever seen a sanitation strike in New York? He goes on to say “there are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed.”. Now, imagine this Joe Sixpack is living in a major city when this happens like New York or Los Angeles.

Do you really think there won’t be people leaving if these things were happening? Do you honestly believe in a city of over 8 million people that nobody is going to leave that type of disaster? Even if we are only talking about 10% of the entire population that decides based upon the information they have (maybe we were attacked by terrorists with an EMP) that they need to get out of the city no matter what, you are still talking about 800,000 people. That’s only 10% of one city!

Let’s go ahead and continue with the theory that this is New York. We have to assume from Mr. Rawles’ mental exercise that since he said that this is TEOTWAWKI,  that the same thing has happened across the country. This isn’t a small power outage caused by a storm that brings the power back in a few days. Now take the 10% from all the towns around New York and New Jersey and add those together. Can you begin to see how an event like this could trigger a “horde” of people moving into the countryside to escape the riots and lawlessness?

Where you live matters

In real estate, you know the phrase… Location, location, location. Where you live matters just as much as the event that causes the crisis or the crisis itself. If you live in the backwoods of Tennessee, you probably don’t have to worry about hundreds of thousands of people making their way out of the city, but what if Memphis and Knoxville were looking for a place to go?

Back in 2013, the Business Insider showed a map of the most populated counties in the United States. They used the census data to determine that over 50% of the population of our country lives in just 146 of the over 3000 nationwide counties. Do you live near one of these?

 

Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties

Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties

It is my belief that with the right disaster, the Golden Horde concept is very likely. I can easily see having to worry about people fleeing major cities if you live near some big metropolis. Now if you are out in the middle of East Jesus, then you probably don’t have to worry about it as much, if at all. However, that doesn’t mean it is crazy for anyone to worry about the golden horde. It might be crazier to think you know everything and everyone else is wrong. It is wise to research it though and find out for yourself if maybe there is something you need to plan for. Where do you live? Is there a big blue spot near your home?

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Do You Shoot: What if Your Imaginary Bad Guy isn’t Who Shows Up?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/27/do-you-shoot-imaginary-bad-guy-isnt-shows/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/27/do-you-shoot-imaginary-bad-guy-isnt-shows/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:35:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11010 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a […]

The post Do You Shoot: What if Your Imaginary Bad Guy isn’t Who Shows Up? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a basis for planning your response to different potential threats.

As a prepper, I believe it is vital to have a plan for security.  The world can be an ugly place in times of crisis and depending on the situation, once reasonable, kind and rational people can become killers. Even if they don’t become killers, you could face a threat from incredibly desperate people who while not wanting to hurt you would do anything to protect or provide for their own loved ones. It is times like this that you could have to depend on a firearm to save your life.

On the Prepper Journal I advocate that everyone become prepared to handle the disruptions in life that we see every day on the news. There are earthquakes that disrupt entire communities, hurricanes that destroy the homes of thousands, tsunamis that impact entire regions, nuclear meltdowns that threaten everyone, virus outbreaks that are flown around the globe, chemical spills that poison the water and on and on. These are normal events that happen in our lives. These aren’t crazy conspiracy theories, they are real and my mission has been to wake people up to the potential for events like this coming to your town. Because if you take some simple steps now you can begin to prepare for these “disruptions” in your life. With planning you can become more self-reliant in the face of disaster.

There are some threats though that can’t be avoided by having a good food storage plan. There are some troubles you could face that aren’t washed away with gallons of stored water. Sometimes, you can’t plan for all contingencies or you may be faced with something you haven’t considered before. I believe that there are levels that we need to prepare for and obviously how affected we are by the disasters makes all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter initially if your town experienced an earthquake if your home, neighborhood and family are fine. If the stores down the street are still working as normal, your preps aren’t going to be needed as much as in other situations. Like I said last week, everything depends on the disaster.

But as I frequently do, lets take a hypothetical disaster for the purposes of discussion. We have used the threat of EMP too much lately so I will use something like an Ebola pandemic. The scenario is an Ebola pandemic has ravaged the country and decimated 50% of the population. Everyone has been ordered into their homes for over two months now and you are still holding out. Your supplies have dwindled but your family is healthy and you can last a few more months. The power is intermittent due to personnel shortages, many have died, so you do face some days without power. The water is still on, but rumors are spreading that it isn’t safe to drink.

OK, so that is our hypothetical and during an event like that I could easily see many situations where your security could be threatened. I say all of this as an introduction to a question a reader sent me a couple of weeks back.

A reader of the Prepper Journal; Jeremy sent me the following:

In reading the book Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (One I would recommend HIGHLY as a preparation for the realities of everyday life, let alone for what people very well could and would be like following a major disaster/period of civil decay) the author is speaking about determining our capacity for dealing with violence and, in turn, inflicting violence on others to protect ourselves/the ones we love. He speaks of determining, ahead of time, your capability vs. your capacity. The example he uses is that of a person coming at you with a butcher’s knife. They have the intent, means and opportunity to kill you. You have nowhere to retreat, but are armed. This is a shoot/no shoot scenario. The question is do you shoot? Are you OK with shooting the person and killing them?

I have not read this book but the question he posed was interesting. Judging by the question so far, it seems pretty simple doesn’t it? It may not be that cut and dry for everyone, but I would like to think I would be able to pull the trigger to defend my life or the lives of people I love. The person coming at me would be a threat because they would be walking towards me (intent) and they would be holding a butcher knife (capacity) regardless of the specifics of castle doctrine or duty to retreat (he says you have nowhere to retreat) I would feel justified in shooting the person who I viewed in this example as a threat to my life.

But I am no lawyer. I have also never shot and killed anyone so take what I say I would do with a grain of salt.

Then he says the following –

“Now change an element. The Threat is twelve years old. Do you still shoot? Kill? Are you okay with that? If the Threat were six years old? Four? A woman? A pregnant woman? A mentally disabled person who can’t realize what they are doing? Your own spouse? Your own child? What if the Threat’s toddler children are watching? What if cameras are rolling? The threat is the same—even a four-year-old with a big knife can kill and there are no degrees of dead. Do you feel the same about all of those scenarios? I don’t. Even knowing full well how dangerous a knife is and how many people die from overconfidence I would have a hard time shooting a child. I might feel differently about the other scenarios but would act the same—I would just feel worse about it later. Think about this. Explore it. Listen to your gut feelings before you try to logic it out. When you do try to logic it out, pay special attention to when you are rationalizing—when your logic is serving not to make the best decision but to justify the decision that your gut wants.”

 Miller, Rory (2011-04-01). Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (Kindle Locations 339-352). YMAA Publication Center. Kindle Edition.

Now, that is an interesting turn of events or elements as the writer states. Have you thought about what you would do? Would you be willing to shoot someone? If the answer is yes to that question I think the writer’s larger point may be that you probably have a vision of who this hypothetical bad guy is. I know I did. In my mind the threat was a menacing looking man in my home and my children and wife were behind me. I can see the knife in his hand right now and can feel my firearm in mine. I don’t have much hesitation when the question becomes do you shoot. In my mind that is.

But, the author does give us a challenge and the first is to change the element to a child. Being the father of children I have to give this one a little extra consideration. Then he says “what if the child is four”. I know I could disarm a four-year old. I could disarm a 6 or 12-year-old while we are at it so I don’t think I would view a child, under some reasonable age as a threat if they were holding a big knife. Is there a chance I would be cut, most likely if I didn’t do something right, but I still wouldn’t shoot someone who I feel I could overpower. In this case I discount that one aspect of the hypothetical, but the overall message is still one that is compelling to consider.

What if the bad guy isn’t your imaginary bad guy?

What if this person were your neighbor who was retired and had always been the best neighbor in the world to you? What if this was his wife? What if it was another neighbor’s child? In this case, not 4 or 6 but 18? Would you shoot him or her? What if it was a pregnant woman? What if it was someone you worked with who knew about your preps because you didn’t practice good OPSEC and had come to your home because her husband was sick and starving to death? What if she was holding a gun and her daughter was right beside her? Would you shoot first or let her shoot you?

I know most of the arguments for charity and setting aside food to give away and all of the rational approaches to dealing with family members before SHTF. I don’t have the answers to all my hypothetical scenarios, but I do think the exercise of thinking about this ahead of time is valid. It may be that none of us can even think about what we would do in a situation like that. Honestly I don’t know what I would do and I can’t even tell you how I would deal with that scenario. Maybe I would freeze?

We deal with topics of security all the time and there are simple baselines I believe in like having the ability, the training and the resolve to defend your home. Admittedly this defense is always from my imaginary bad guy, but reality always gets a vote. Thinking about these unthinkable scenarios could give you some ideas with respect to how you are prepping. If nothing else, it might change how you view security and what you are willing to do.

Have you thought about this before? Would you be willing to shoot?

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Food Storage Calculator Spreadsheet – Free Downloadhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/26/food-storage-calculator-spreadsheet-free-download/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/26/food-storage-calculator-spreadsheet-free-download/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:26:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10997 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been interested in Prepping for more than two minutes, you have heard that you need to have a plan for food storage in case of disaster. Food is one of the most important items preppers can obtain that will keep them alive but so many people do not have more than a […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been interested in Prepping for more than two minutes, you have heard that you need to have a plan for food storage in case of disaster. Food is one of the most important items preppers can obtain that will keep them alive but so many people do not have more than a few days of food in their pantries at home. We shop for food often and buying extra food isn’t viewed as odd or deviant (yet?) like some prepper purchases but for one reason or another most people only keep the basics on hand and believe that if needed they will just run to the grocery store to pick up last minute items. Unfortunately, you have all seen photos of shelves stripped bare at the first mention of an approaching storm. What if your city was impacted by the recent earthquake? This one was relatively minor, but if there had been more damage, would you have enough food to last until service was restored and the grocery store replenished? What if there was an Ebola outbreak and you were forced to stay in your home for a month. Would you have enough food to last or would you travel out possibly risking exposure?

Ensuring you have a food storage plan is one way to prevent your family from being the ones running down the grocery store isles searching for anything still left. Actually, when we have inclement weather it never fails that my wife will ask me to stop by the store on my way home. It isn’t that we need any food because we have stocked up plenty to last several months at a minimum. No, she wants me to get single items for a recipe or one ingredient that she might need in a few days. I swear it’s just to hear me complain about the lines in the stores of all the panicked people looking to stock up before whatever event we have coming (usually a snow storm) hits us.

Free food storage calculator spreadsheet.

Click on the image of the spreadsheet to download.

You shouldn’t need to go to the store for last minute food items because you too should have several months of food that your family will eat stored already. A good food storage plan will help you figure out what you need and inventory those supplies. The first step is to understand what you need in terms of the specific foods and there are lots of websites with a food storage calculator out there that will help but you can’t really customize them. You are forced into taking their food recommendations. I have taken the liberty of creating my own food storage calculator spreadsheet for the readers of the prepper journal. The advantage of this one is that you can play around with the quantities and even add new items to your list and adjust the numbers of people and duration you want to have food stored for. The spreadsheet is open and free for you to use. If you don’t want to store Pearled Barley, just change the food storage spreadsheet to something you do like to eat. Want to keep track of your canned spaghetti sauce? Just add it to the sheet! The only requirement is that you need to be able to open and manipulate an Excel file.

All you have to do is to enter the number of people you are stocking up food for, then the number of months you want to have stored. It isn’t fancy, but it is a simple tool you can download and use to calculate your own food storage in your home. The spreadsheet will give you the average recommended quantities of food and you can add how much you have on-hand. Once that is done, the spreadsheet will let you know how much of any particular item you still need to purchase. You can use this to generate your shopping list and Boom! You will be on your way to securing your families food needs for the next disaster. You can download the free food storage calculator spreadsheet right here.

If this is helpful, we also have a free Ammo Inventory spreadsheet that you can download, add to this one and keep track of multiple supplies on one spreadsheet.

I hope this helps. If you see anything I missed or have questions/comments/recommendations please let me know.

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How to Deal with Diseases in Long Term Survival Situationshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/deal-diseases-long-term-survival-situations/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/deal-diseases-long-term-survival-situations/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:32:51 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10980 Written by Selco on The Prepper Journal.

The following article comes to us from Selco of the SHTF School website. Selco is one of the rare voices in the preparedness community who has real-life experience surviving in a SHTF type of world. Selco is from the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe, and lived through the Balkan War when it came to his […]

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Written by Selco on The Prepper Journal.

The following article comes to us from Selco of the SHTF School website. Selco is one of the rare voices in the preparedness community who has real-life experience surviving in a SHTF type of world. Selco is from the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe, and lived through the Balkan War when it came to his neck of the woods from 1992 to 1995.  Selco survived in a city WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water, real food distribution, distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government. Besides running his website; Selco produces an online course called One Year in Hell where he describes exactly what he went through and shares information on how you can survive if you are faced with the same situation.


There are great concerns about possible Ebola pandemic spreading outside Africa, media is bombarding us with this information. We also have ongoing discussion with interesting updates on our forum.

You can read all sorts of information online, like possible reasons for fast spreading in Africa including religious beliefs and rituals there where people handled bodies without proper knowledge, contributing to the fast spreading. They also say that lack of general knowledge about diseases, hygiene and eating bush meat along with lack of training of local medical professionals caused the mess. Interesting to read, no doubt.

They also say that there is no way of some doomsday scenario of sick person getting onto regular flight, contaminating everyone, because it spreads through body fluids only etc.

All good info, but somewhere at the end of article there is one sentence that goes like this: “… so there is clearly no reason for panic…”

As I said few times before, whenever someone from government, law enforcement, or similar says “no reason for panic” I get strong urge to buy more ammo (food, water, gas masks…).

OK, I’m a burned man and had bad experience from listening to similar statements, if you are member of my course you know what kind of messages we heard even in days before we were surrounded in the city with no way out.

Just use common sense here. Would media really ever say it is time to panic? It is time to prepare? No. This would cause chaos and some people would overreact. Not show up to work anymore, this could lead to collapse itself. People do not think for themselves anymore so media to certain degree has to always calm people down. It is how the system works.

Soldier during Balkan War.

Soldier during Balkan War.

Panic is bad in any case. Reading how scared some preppers are, some people seem to be in constant state or emergency. This makes no sense and just makes life miserable. We prepare for every possibility to not be in panic mode.

First be prepared, then do not panic. Of course stay alert and use common sense.

Ebola is scary, and it can become big problem for sure, but just like sharks kill just about 10 people every year and elephants kill 10 times more, it is often what we perceive as harmless that can cause biggest problems. Survival is a lot about seeing dangers where they are. In this sense you should make sure your bathroom is not slippery because many people die by slipping in shower. Today I write about the regular killers I experienced during my time in war.

Wound Infections

It does not have to be big wound to get you into the trouble. When SHTF small cut can kill (literally). In world where there is no proper medical care you need to be ready to deal with problems like this. During my SHTF time there were lots of troubles with wound infections. Everything from minor cuts to bullet wounds had chance to be infected.

We treated infected wounds with what we had, over time with less and less resources it mostly became simple water cleaning, and local mixtures of things for treating infections. Recipes were different, from pine pieces to onions on wounds and similar, and of course local alcohol beverages.

Sometimes we had antibiotics, mostly we did not. Results were very random. What worked for one guy sometimes did not work for someone else. Some people died, others became crippled.

For future SHTF scenarios I suggest to learn as much as you can about wound treatment.

  • How to clean and close wound and how to use antibiotics on proper way.
  • Remember that simply procedures like wound closing with steri strips can save you lot of troubles later, of course as more as you know (suturing, staples) it is better, and do not fall under the influence of movies, for example no, tourniquet is NOT always best choice for bleeding (mostly it is last), and simple covering of the wound with sterile 4×4 can do miracles later for preventing infections.
  • Store normal saline, iodine, peroxide and similar for wound treatment.
  • Learn how to do pain management, I did it many times with simple alcohol drink, it does not work well always. Again forget about movies.
  • Good advice to know how to use what you have, having needle and sutures without knowledge does not make too much sense.
  • Do not blindly follow advertisements about “miracle first aid kit for all SHTF troubles” you may end up with useless stuff in nice cammo bag. Like in all areas of life today, people try to also sell snake oil and miracle solutions in survival area. Knowledge is king.

Of course there is good stuff around to buy, but be sure to check what you get, good idea is to ask your friend who is in medical field what you actually gonna get in that kit, or even better to assemble your own. I have listed some suggestions what should be in every basic first aid kit here and Cajun who is medical professional like me lists his first aid kit from his bug out bag in our forum.

Injuries will be common with heavy destruction like war areas.

Injuries will be common with heavy destruction like war areas.

Food (and water) poisoning

You can be sure that sooner or later you will have to deal with this. It is not only dangerous to be crippled with diarrhea and vomiting because at the end it can kill you, but also it can make you so weak that you can not perform your duties. In SHTF that means that you are too weak to defend yourself, or to go out and gather resources and similar, and that is bad. Again, thats why groups are important and lone wolfs have odds against them.

I think that everyone was poisoned with bad food or water at least once during my SHTF time. We dealt with it with teas and simply trying to give the person more water than he is losing it. There were casualties of course, mostly very old or very young.

First line of defense would be hygiene. Be very serious with it when SHTF. Have plan how to keep yourself and your home (and food and water) clean when SHTF. It is much better to think more about preventing that stuff to happen by how you store your food and handle it instead of having great first aid kit to treat the problems.

Mistake that people often make in case of diarrhea and vomiting is that they try to consume too much water too fast and that causes more harm than good. Point is to consume fluids very slowly and in small amounts. For example one sip of fluids every 20 minutes or similar, take rest and be careful with water and food intake in next 24 hours.

Already sick people

I know many people think that when we experience breakdown of system and total collapse everything will be about adrenaline, fighting, chaos and blood.

This is part of it, but mostly, especially in first weeks people who lived with small conditions are going to experience them much worse. Think about what small problems you might have at the moment that can become huge if you have to live survival lifestyle with heavy physical work every day, maybe lack of sleep, extreme stress and less hygiene. Problems will be multiplied many times.

For example your uncle had high blood pressure for years, he is on pills, and his family tries to „force“ him to eat healthy, and it is working more or less, but every now and then he ends up in emergency room because his blood pressure goes dangerously up. When SHTF what is the plan to regulate his high BP, and for how long you have stash of pills for him? Or how he is gonna be able to eat healthy or similar when SHTF? From my experience in survival situations, these people are the first to go.

Solution could be to try to regulate his blood pressure today as good as you can, to have stashed good amount of medication for him, and of course to learn everything about alternative means of treating that condition (with herbs for example). Point is to do all this today, because when SHTF you may not have chance or enough time for that.

As heartless as it sounds but also think about what to do with people who are against prepping today and who you know will run into serious problems once normal system is not there to support them anymore. Who will be angry and cause problems in your group if you simply decide to leave that sick uncle to his fate? At some point you have to know when train is full and you are leaving and it makes sense to think about this before.

How do you prepare for diseases? Besides first aid kit(s), what plans do you have? Share in comments below or on our forum.

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The Benefits of Raised Garden Beds – Infographichttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/benefits-raised-garden-beds-infographic/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/benefits-raised-garden-beds-infographic/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:22:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10973 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Raised garden beds are one option for providing a source of fresh food to your family that are preferred by some people for a lot of very valid reasons. Some of the reasons raised beds are preferred are: Less weeds Better water retention in areas that have super-sandy soil Better drainage in areas with clay […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Raised garden beds are one option for providing a source of fresh food to your family that are preferred by some people for a lot of very valid reasons. Some of the reasons raised beds are preferred are:

  • Less weeds
  • Better water retention in areas that have super-sandy soil
  • Better drainage in areas with clay soils
  • More growing space
  • No soil compaction from human feet
  • Warmer soil earlier in the season
  • Warmer soil for a longer season
  • Soil that has basically a neutral pH unless you add something to change it (because you’re filling it)
  • Less soil erosion (especially, if the bed is framed)

I was contacted by Aldo Baker with Custom Made whose team created the raised bed info-graphic below. Its a great visual to give you some ideas on how to create your own raised beds for your garden.

Click to Enlarge Image

Build The Benefits of Raised Beds

Raised Garden Beds Infographic

Build The Benefits of Raised Beds
Infographic by CustomMade

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